Have we forgotten our TWO undeclared wars?

As we finish the last few days of the Bush presidency, our nation faces many problems. We are facing a global economic crisis. But I’ve noticed that it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen any coverage of our undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the media.

So I thought it was time to remind readers that soldiers are dying every day overseas. For the life of me, I can’t even recall the reason we were given for being there.

As of January 11, 2009, 4,226 Americans have been killed in Iraq. Another 30,934 wounded.

In Afghanistan, there are an additional 638 dead American servicemembers.

To put that into perspective, that’s nearly the entire population of Villa Park – every man, woman, and child – dead. And almost the whole city of Laguna Hills in the wounded category.

I wish our new President well in ending these wars as quickly as possible.

Data from icasualties.org and US Census.

Orange County Military Deaths, by City:

Anaheim – 3 dead
Brea – 1 dead
Cypress – 1 dead
Fullerton – 2 dead
Garden Grove – 1 dead
Huntington Beach – 2 dead
Irvine – 5 dead
La Habra – 1 dead
Mission Viejo – 3 dead
Orange – 5 dead
Placentia – 3 dead
San Clemente – 1 dead
San Juan Capistrano – 1 dead
Santa Ana – 3 dead
Westminster – 1 dead
Yorba Linda – 1 dead

  7 comments for “Have we forgotten our TWO undeclared wars?

  1. January 16, 2009 at 8:25 am

    For the life of me, I can’t even recall the reason we were given for being there.


    While reasonable have and do disagree over the reasons why we are in Iraq, you honestly cannot remember why we are in Afghanistan?

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    January 16, 2009 at 9:01 am

    And we’ve dopne a lousy job in Afghanistan haven’t we? So in the 7 plus years since 9/11, Bin Laden remains free. Al Qaeda isn’t destroyed and we are not holding the government of Pakistan to the conditions of the Bush Doctrine.

    Next Tuesday can’t come soon enough

  3. just...asking?
    January 16, 2009 at 10:22 am

    For the life of me, I can’t even recall the reason we were given for being there.



    Ed’s question is very valid for many Americans. We’ve lost our focus many years ago on our true battlefronts. So much attention was paid to Iraq by the current president, American’s attention is diverted in the wrong direction. Many still believe we were attacked by Iraq on 9/11!

    Hopefully we will focus our efforts on the real issues that face us on the global stage and our leaders will again place Americans attention on the real problems facing us all.

  4. Bladerunner
    January 16, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Fortunately, President-elect Obama and Secretary of State designee Clinton haven’t forgotten why we are in Afghanistan. Both have expressed strong support for the war there and have indicated that Afghanistan will be the central front in the war on terror.

    It’s unfortunate Mr. Chmielewski that our preoccupation with Iraq diverted resources from the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. I’m not sure I would characterize it as “a lousyjob” since we did topple the pro-Al Qaeda government and put them on the defensive. Not to mention the opportunities provided to girls and women in education and employment that didn’t exist. But your criticism is well taken. A new Administration with a new focus is sorely needed in a theatre that is difficult enough without our own mistakes adding to the burden NATO troops face in the top of the world.

  5. Dan Chmielewski
    January 16, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Bladerunner — your comments are always well respected on this blog and others. But I’m not so sure that there’s been that much progress in Afghanistan for girls and woman. Earlier this week, the NY Times had a lengthy piece on how girls who want to attend school have had acid thrown in their faces to permanently disfigure them..simply for seeking an education. While I believe the Bush administration did a lousy jon there, I do believe that the Obama administration will refocus our efforts on going after those who struck us on 9/11 and those people were never in Iraq.

  6. dclark
    January 16, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    As opposed to Vietnam:

    Casualties as of November 7 2001:

    * 58,209 KIA and other dead[9]
    * 303,635 WIA (including 153,303 who required hospitalization and 150,332 who didn’t)[10]
    * 1,948 MIA[11]


    perpetuated by Kennedy and Johnson and ended by >>>> NIXON!

  7. Bladerunner
    January 17, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Mr. Chmielewski,
    Are you kidding? While security in the country needs to improve to deal with the attacks, at least girls can go to school now. Girls couldnt go to school at all with the Taliban in control. Women now can go to work without having to wear burkasand in some areas are involved with government and business. Some serious advances. But I agree, things will improve with Obama, both militarily as we shift emphasis from Iraq, and diplomatically(hopefully) as Obama works to push the Kabul government to work with tribal leaders.


    38% of the deaths occurred under Nixon’s watch. He lied to the American people in the 68 campaign–he had no plan for peace in Vietnam. And then he and Kissinger signed a peace treaty that doomed the Saigon government. Don’t forget that before there was a Kennedy and Johnson there was a Dwight Eisnenhowser who bought off on John Foster Dulles plan to ignore the Treaty that called for elections to occur in 1956 to unify the Country. Had Ike and JFD not caused the South to break the Treaty, elections would have resulted in reunification under the North and 58,000 Americans would be alive today. Don’t dare try to pin this all on Kennedy and Johnson. There is plenty of blame to go around.

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