During my two trips to Iraq, I had the honor of meeting many members of SEAL Team 6, and my brother Aaron is very close to many of them, as well. My wife, Gena, and I, along with my brother Aaron and his wife, Becki, send our deepest condolences and prayers to the families of these brave warriors. There are no words to describe the loss these families are facing, and they will need our greatest support, not only now but also in the future.
Prior to those 30 additional U.S. deaths, CNSNews.com reported last week that at least 1,019 U.S. troops had died in and around Afghanistan since President Barack Obama's inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009. What that means is at least 64 percent of U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan have occurred on Obama's watch.
A total of 1,618 deaths have occurred since Oct. 7, 2001, when U.S. forces were deployed to Afghanistan to expel the Taliban, who were harboring al-Qaida. In 2010, 497 American troops died in Afghanistan. Since January this year, 260 U.S. troops have been killed. In July alone, 32 U.S. troops died in Afghanistan. And already in August, 30 U.S. troops have sacrificed their lives. There have been at least 17 coalition and Afghan aircraft crashes in Afghanistan this year.
Considering all these casualties of war, one seriously calls into question President Obama's abilities as commander in chief and this December 2009 promise he made to the nation: "Taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011."
Retired Gen. John Keane, former vice chief of staff of the Army, testified two weeks ago before the House Armed Services Committee, "The president's recent drawdown decision of 33,000 troops no later than September 2012 has increased risk significantly and threatens overall mission success."
This past week, myriad people on Facebook talked about how music star Amy Winehouse and yesteryear's Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison made front-page news when they suffered drug-induced deaths at age 27. But service members Andrew Found, Daniel Prior, Martin Lamb, Steven Dunn and Graham Shaw -- all killed in action in Afghanistan -- didn't make the front page when they died at 27.