Under Obama, U.S. Casualty Rate in Afghanistan Increased 5-Fold

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by mandym, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. mandym

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    The average monthly casualty rate for U.S. military forces serving in Afghanistan has increased 5-fold since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009.

    1,540 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since Oct. 7,2001, when U.S. forces began action in that country to oust the Taliban regime that had been harboring al Qaeda and to track down and capture or kill al Qaeda terrorists.

    During the Bush presidency, which ended on Jan. 20, 2009 with the inauguration of President Obama, U.S. troops were present in Afghanistan for 87.4 months and suffered 570 casualties—a rate of 6.5 deaths per month.

    During the Obama presidency, through today, U.S. troops have been present in Afghanistan for 29.1 months and have suffered 970 casualties—a rate of 33.3 deaths per month.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/us-casualties-afghanistan-have-increased
     
  2. dwmoeller1

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    At least two major reasons for this:
    1. Obama sent more troops to Afghanistan. The more troops you send in, the more losses you can expect.
    2. Obama has pressed the war in Afghanistan more seriously that Bush ever did. The harder you press an operation, the more losses you can expect.

    In short, the greater casualties were to be expected and reasonable.
     
  3. Don

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    I believe I understand your logic, but please explain why more troops doesn't equal "overwhelming the enemy, thus reducing friendly casualties."

    "and reasonable" -- Please explain.
     
  4. dwmoeller1

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    Your reasoning is not a general truism of war and only works under certain conditions (and I can give many examples where the exact opposite is true). For one, it only works if the lower number of troops were not sufficient in the first place. So, if the lower level of troops indicated a lack of sufficient troops for the missions that were being attempted, then yes, one might expect a greater number of troops to give a decrease in casualties. However, if sufficient troops had always been used for the attempted missions (as I believe the data bears out), then the greater amount of troops results in a greater amount of missions attempted - not an overwhelming force (since the indications were that when we chose to engage, we always did so in overwhelming force). So, since the increased number of troops represented an expansion of the war, and not an increase of insufficient to overwhelming number of troops on the battle field (since we had already been overwhelming), your logic does not apply.

    IOW, if with 30k troops, there were X daily missions attempted with an average casualty of Y, then with 60k troops one would be able to attempt 2X daily missions (and more if the area of operation doesn't substantially increase). So, with the same force level for each mission, one would expect total numbers of casualties to increase even if the average casualties per mission remains relatively constant. Additionally, with the increased troops, one would expect an increased friction of war and therefore an increase in the average casualty rate.

    In short, the increased casualties follow reasonably from the change in troop levels.

    Reasonable means that there is no fault of execution to be found with the greater number of casualties. Since Obama has greatly increased the number of troops (4 times the average of the troops during Bush, and over twice the highest level during Bush) and expanded the mission in Afghanistan, then it follows logically that more casualties would be expected (ie. its a reasonable conclusion). IOW, there is no reason to believe the greater casualties are a result of Obama botching the war. It may be true that he is, but the greater casualties is not a reasonable indication of such a conclusion.
     
  5. billwald

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    No outsider has EVER won a war in Afghanistan.
     
  6. Don

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    You'll note that I asked you to explain your original post in further detail. I agree with what you've written 100%.

    This is the point that needed to be made: "the increased number of troops represented an expansion of the war, and not an increase of insufficient to overwhelming number of troops on the battle field."

    It's not "my" logic; it's the logic of the politicians, who thought that simply sending more troops would solve all the problems.

    I myself am quite familiar with the principles of war.
     
  7. mandym

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    He increased the troop level 40% and the death rate increased 500%. Doesn't add up
     
  8. Don

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    After the troop level increased, the number of combat missions also went up.

    Actually, the causal factor here is the number of combat missions, NOT the number of troops.

    If I have 100 troops, sending them on 2 missions with a loss of 3% per mission means 6 dead. Same loss percentage for 10 missions means 30 dead. Percentage difference looks like 20% higher, even though it's actually the same loss percentage. Now couple the higher number of missions with a higher number of troops, and the percentage looks downright ugly...although, in reality, it hasn't actually changed.

    Someone, however, would like us to think that increasing the number of troops reduces the loss percentage; as pointed out, it only increases the number of targets for the enemy, and thus does not change the expected casualty rate, whatever that may actually be.

    The manpower problem in Afghanistan has been the multi-faceted mission. You have some troops there solely to conduct training and advising; and some for combat ops; and others for other reasons. The advisors, in general, aren't conducting combat ops; so in order to conduct the number and scale of combat ops required to do serious harm to al Qaida and taliban ops, more combat troops were required.
     
    #8 Don, Jun 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2011
  9. Salty

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    Another item to consider is that troops only stay for a year. Therefore new troops are constantly arriving in country. Takes time to to be prepared under actual combat conditions. You can train all you want - and you should - but until the real bullets are firing your direction, well causality's do happen.

    I understand some troops are on their 4th or 5th deployment - and now they are the NCO's they have combat experience, hopefully they will help the younger troops.

    One last thing - we are fighting in essence a phantom enemy. In WWII, we knew the enemy - the Germans and Japanese - as we were fighting actually countries. We are now fighting factions - many times it is hard to actually know who the enemy is.

    Bottom line, I think Don explained the "numbers" in a very excellent way.
     
  10. billwald

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    Further, people at home give lip service to supporting the troops but pragmatically the war only effects the volunteers, the families of volunteers, and the people who are making money off the war. I don't personally know anyone in Iraq or Afghanistan.
     
  11. Salty

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    I have known several who have served in a combat zone, but none at the moment.
     
  12. carpro

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    Idiotic rules of engagement result in an untold number of deaths.

    Obama is directly resaponsible for those, no matter how many there are.
     
    #12 carpro, Jun 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2011
  13. dwmoeller1

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    This is not inaccurate. He increased the troop level by more than 200% from the highest levels under Bush (~64k up from ~30k) and by about 330% over the average under Bush. No clue where you got the 40% from.

    Now, include other concepts like "friction of war" and "base overhead" and it adds up very reasonably.
     
    #13 dwmoeller1, Jun 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2011
  14. mandym

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    Oh well.....you should actually read the op instead of just carrying the Democrat water.
     
  15. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Does this apply to every conflict and every president?
     
  16. Robert Snow

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    Do you also see the hypocrisy? After 9/11 we couldn't wait to go to Afghanistan and rightly so! Now, however, when the president is a democrat, he is responsible for the deaths of the American soldiers. When Bush invaded Iraq, and even after it was shown that the invasion was based on false information, the military who died there died for freedom, now under President Obama, all these deaths are unnecessary and squarely rest on his shoulders.

    If these wars continue for another two years and a republican is elected president in 2012, we will find that these wars have again turned honorable.
     
  17. mandym

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    There was no false info. You guys really need to quit perpetuating this lie from the extreme left.
     
  18. Salty

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    If the info was false why did Senate Democrats vote for the conflict to continue?
     
  19. carpro

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    Nope. No president I can remember endangered the lives of their troops with such deadly rules of engagement.

    For example:

    No night or surprise searches.

    Villagers have to be warned prior to searches.


    Responsibility for any troops killed or maimed by IEDs entering a village that was warned they were coming fall directly on the shoulders of the man that made the rules. Barak Obama

    We need to bring 'em home before Obama kills more of them. Today wouldn't be too soon.
     
  20. dwmoeller1

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    The article you reference doesnt even give the 40% increase you assert. Go find the raw numbers and do the math yourself if you doubt my figures. But ad hominems ain't much use when it comes to math.

    And FWIW, I didn't let Bush haters get away with such blatant disregard for facts and figures either :)
     

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