Yes, hubris and incompetence also breeds cluelessness. Who knew?

Via WSJ.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R., Calif.) had a simple question Wednesday for three of the Obama administration’s top Afghanistan specialists: How many American troops have been killed in Afghanistan this year?

None of the witnesses at the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Afghanistan had an answer.

How much is the U.S. spending in Afghanistan? Mr. Rohrabacher asked.

No one could say.

“We’re supposed to believe that you fellas have a plan that’s going to end up in a positive way in Afghanistan?” Mr. Rohrabacher asked. “Holy cow!”

Mr. Rohrabacher’s incredulous questioning came during a two-hour hearing on U.S. policy in Afghanistan that revealed increasing congressional frustration with U.S. policy as the administration tries to rescue its plan to keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan through the end of this decade, if not beyond…

Ambassador James Dobbins, the administration’s top envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, eventually provided some facts: The State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development spent about $2 billion a year and there have been about 2,200 “casualties” since 2001.

In fact, there have been 2,292 American fatalities since 2001. So far this year, 113 Americans have been killed, the lowest number of U.S. fatalities since 2004, according to iCasualties, the website that tracks U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan… Mr. Dobbins was joined at the hearing by Michael Dumont, the Defense Department’s deputy assistant secretary for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, and Donald “Larry” Sampler, the assistant to the administrator in USAID’s Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs.

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8 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. strider says:

    Too busy on the porn sites.

  2. midget says:

    I don’t know the numbers but I have a feeling it is more than all the years GW was in office & the media totaled them every chance they got.

    • makeshifty says:

      I’ve heard this claim as well from conservatives, that the military casualties under Obama are now more than under Bush’s term. Seeing the numbers presented here, though, that can’t be true. As I recall, there were around 4,000 casualties in Iraq under Bush. There were some in Afghanistan, but it was in the hundreds, and most of them were from friendly fire, and vehicle/munition accidents. The casualties in Afghanistan didn’t pick up until the Taliban made a push to come back there, though I forget whether that started under Bush or Obama.

    • Vintageport says:

      Yes, Midget the numbers have been rumored to exceed those from W’s terms. And if you believe that they do not know the real numbers, I have a nice piece of ocean-front property to sell you in fly-over country.

  3. makeshifty says:

    Ever since Obama became president there’s been a news blackout on military operations, from what I can tell. Under Bush I used to hear through PBS programs, cable feature shows, or through C-SPAN, what was going on in Iraq and Afghanistan pretty regularly, though there was much more coverage of Iraq. I felt informed about the situation for the most part. I noticed a significant decline in coverage of both theaters after Obama took office. I don’t know if it was because audiences lost interest, or if the Obama Admin. was actively suppressing press access to those theaters. I took it to mean the Obama Admin. didn’t want people focused on foreign wars. He wanted us focused on domestic issues. The only major event we saw around the Afghan war was Obama’s announcement of a surge in ’09. To see the lack of coverage since then, you’d be excused for thinking our involvement in Afghanistan is over.

    What you’ve pointed out here is a stark example of what I suspect is going on. Based on the coverage I saw during the Bush Admin., they were not cagey about casualty numbers, like we’re seeing here.

  4. Kitten says:

    No one is home in this WH. No one is accountable, and no one is to blame, ever. If not for the strength of the foundational structure of this nation (and much prayer), we would have fallen into the hapless bliss of a banana republic a long time ago. 🙁

  5. Dave says:

    So much fun living under tyranny. Get used to it.

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