Tragically U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan hit the “highest annual combat death toll since 2014” after the death of two U.S. military personnel yesterday. The total death toll is 14 Americans killed in combat in Afghanistan this year. The Pentagon is not releasing details until the families are notified.
Today CNS News detailed the cost of the “Endless War” in Afghanistan. “The 14 combat deaths this year compares to 13 in 2018, 11 in 2017, nine in 2016, and 11 in 2015. Forty U.S. personnel were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2014.”
War with the Taliban in the region, “Operation Enduring Freedom” began in October of 2001, resulting in the death of 2,428 United States personnel, 1,904 of which were in combat, according to a tally of official data.”
President Trump and his administration speak with enthusiasm that they are making headway and are in talks with the Taliban. Zalmay Khalilzad is the U.S. lead negotiator to America’s longest war, and “briefed President Trump and national security officials at the weekend on progress, before heading back to Doha, Qatar on Wednesday for more talks.”
Earlier this week in the Oval Office, Trump expressed his frustration and sentiment saying it is “ridiculous” how long the war has gone on. “We have good talks going, and we’ll see what happens…we are bringing some of our troops back. But we have to have a presence.” Trump continued, “right now, what we’re doing is we’re negotiating with the government and we’re negotiating with the Taliban, and we’ll see what happens from it, what’s coming from it.”
Despite his frustration, President Trump declared “I will say this: The Taliban would liketo stop fighting us. They would like to stop fighting us. They’ve lost a lot. But we’ll see what happens.” Trump was asked whether or not the Taliban could even be trusted to honor any negotiated peace agreement. In true Trump fashion, he responded “Nobody can be trusted.”
When a reporter followed up asking if we were at risk to going back to where we were pre 9/11 where the Taliban completely controlled Afghanistan, Trump responded: “Well, that’s what we have to watch. And we’ll always have intelligence, and we’ll always have somebody there,’ Trump said, describing Afghanistan as ‘the Harvard University of terrorism.”
Thus far the names of the two Americans killed yesterday have not been released, but CNS News honored the remaining 12 U.S. soldiers and marines who were killed there in combat this year, listing the name, dates and details of each brave soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice:
July 29: Pfc. Brandon Jay Kreischer, 20, of Stryker, Ohio died as a result of wounds sustained in a combat related incident in southern Afghanistan. He was with the 82nd Airborne Division, based in Fort Bragg.
July 29: Spc. Michael Isaiah Nance, 24, of Chicago died as a result of wounds sustained in a combat related incident in southern Afghanistan. He too was with the 82nd Airborne Division.
July 13: Special Forces Sgt. Maj. James “Ryan” Sartor, 40, of Teague, Texas, died in Faryab, a province in the north bordering Turkmenistan, as a result of “enemy small arms fire.”
June 25: Special Forces Master Sgt. Micheal Riley, 32, of Heilbronn, Germany, assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group, died in Uruzgan province of wounds sustained from small arms fire during combat.
June 25: Explosives ordnance disposal specialist Sgt. James Johnston, 24, of Trumansburg, N.Y., died in Uruzgan province of wounds sustained in combat from small arms fire.
April 8: U.S. Marine Cpl. Robert Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley, N.Y., was killed during combat operations in Parwan province.
April 8: U.S. Marine Sgt. Benjamin Hines, 31, of York, Pennsylvania, was killed during combat operations in Parwan province.
April 8: U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman, 43, an FDNY firefighter from Newark, Delaware, was killed during combat operations in Parwan province.
March 22: Explosives ordnance disposal specialist Spc. Joseph Collette, 29, of Lancaster, Ohio, died in Kunduz province as a result of wounds sustained during combat operations.
March 22: Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Will Lindsay, 33, of Cortez, Colorado, assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group, died in Kunduz province as a result of wounds sustained during combat operations.
January 22: Green Beret Staff Sgt. Joshua Beale, 32, of Carrollton, Virginia, assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), died as a result of injuries sustained from enemy small arms fire during combat operations in Uruzgan province.
January 17: Army Ranger Sgt. Cameron Meddock, 26, of Spearman, Texas, died at Landstuhl regional medical center in Germany, as a result of injuries sustained from small arms fire during combat operations on January 13, in Badghis province. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.