Three Thousand Five Hundred Twelve* US Fatalities in Iraq as of June 11, 2007. Many would say this is reason enough to withdraw from Iraq, soon if not now. To them I would suggest a little reading of US History. I write this because if we had applied this same standard to our History of Conflicts, we would not be what we are today. History shows the worst thing we could do is to pullout too soon because of this number.
Before anyone gets too excited about my insensitivity to this horrible loss, let me make clear that our Military Fatalities in Combat against our enemy in Iraq is not a trivial matter. The nature of the enemy in this conflict dictates that we will suffer some losses, and I believe that our President and Military Leaders have done a fantastic job of minimizing our losses. Now it is up to us to insure that these deaths were not in vain.
Fifty-one Months ago we began fighting the Global War on Terror in Iraq. From March 2003 to June 2007 as I noted above we have lost 3,512* US service men and women. But here are some other Historical facts. In the 80 months of the Revolutionary War we suffered 4,435** Combat Deaths and another 20,889*** Indian scouts, private militia, civilians fighting with Army or Navy. In the 48 Months of the Civil War the Union recorded 359,528** Deaths while the Confederates recorded another 198,524** Fatalities. That’s 558,052** Deaths in this nations bloodiest Conflict. In the 19 Months of WW I, we lost 116,708** while during the 44 Months of WW II there were 407,316** deaths. Korea added 33,651** Combat Deaths and in Vietnam another 58,168** American Military lost their lives. We won those conflicts (except Vietnam) because we didn’t loose our nerve. Because we knew the sacrifice was worth the peace and security we enjoy today.
We just marked the 63rd anniversary of D-Day. On that ONE DAY, June 6th 1944, The Allies suffered approximately 2,400 Killed in Action of which 1,465 were Americans***. We endured those losses because we knew we had to. We must prevail, We must not give up and most of all we must honor those 3,512 young men and women by completing the job of securing the peace.
Ours is an all-volunteer Military. Except for a few senior NCOs and Officers, all joined the military knowing they would surely see action in Iraq or Afghanistan. They all want to finish the job. They will not loose, unless we loose our nerve and resolve. They know you can’t support the troops unless you also support the mission.
* US Deaths Confirmed By the Department of Defense: 3,506; Reported U.S. Deaths Pending Department of Defense Confirmation: 6; Total: 3,512
** Sources: Table 2-23: “Principal Wars in which the US Participated: US Military Personnel Serving and Casualties” prepared by Washington Headquarters Services, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports. US Department of Defense Records