This column appears in the October edition of Townhall Magazine.
We’ve all heard it over and over again: “Al Qaeda is on the run,” “back on its heels” and “decimated.”
‘The tide of war is receding,” President Obama said in a speech to the nation in June 2011. “Al Qaeda is under more pressure than at anytime since 9/11. … We have put al Qaeda on a path to defeat.”
Unfortunately, President Obama’s verbal victory laps don’t add up to the number of body bags coming home from Afghanistan under his watch.
According to the CNSNews war casualties database and the Department of Defense, 72 percent of deaths in Afghanistan have occurred during President Obama’s tenure. Since the war started on Oct. 7, 2001, more than 2,000 troops have been killed—1484 of them under Obama’s watch. The vast majority are killed in combat or by improvised explosive devices [IEDs]. May and July of 2012 were the deadliest months on record throughout a more than decade-long engagement.
Obama’s plan to end the war in Afghanistan was simple: turn over security to Afghan forces.
This policy quickly led to what is known as “blue on green” attacks on U.S. troops from Afghan soldiers. Starting in 2011, insider attacks skyrocketed, and Gen. John Allen held Taliban infiltrators responsible. According to the Long War Journal, blue on green attacks accounted for 15 percent of coalition troop deaths in 2012. In 2009, before Obama took office, these attacks accounted for just 1 percent of casualties.
But it isn’t just inept policies that are getting our troops killed. It’s also Vice President Joe Biden’s personal weapon of mass destruction: his mouth....