U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,119
As July 30, 2013, at least 2,119 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.
At least 1,757 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers.
Outside of Afghanistan, the department reports at least 128 more members of the U.S. military died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Of those, 11 were the result of hostile action.
The AP count of total OEF casualties outside of Afghanistan is two more than the department’s tally.
The Defense Department also counts three military civilian deaths.
Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 19,032 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department. AP
Pentagon cuts hitting new soldiers in the jacket
The automatic budget cuts hitting the military mean the Army’s newest soldiers are leaving training in South Carolina without their full dress uniform.
Deputy Fort Jackson commander Col. Stephen Yackley told a meeting of military supporters July 30 the cuts mean fewer work hours for civilians on the post, and that includes the tailors who fit new uniforms.
Yackley says commanders at the Army’s largest training base are making sure combat training is going at full strength. But he says the 20 percent cuts under sequestration also mean fewer civilian bus drivers and shorter hours at gates manned by civilian guards.
The colonel says soldiers leave basic training with everything they need for their combat and work uniforms. He says they will get their dress jacket at their next post. AP
Pentagon: Afghan forces will need help beyond 2014
The Pentagon is telling Congress that although Afghanistan’s military is getting stronger, it will still require much more training – as well as financial help – after the U.S. and NATO combat mission ends next year.
The Pentagon’s argument comes amid debate about the White House’s reluctance to announce how many – if any – U.S. forces should remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to help Afghan forces hold off the Taliban.
White House officials have held out the possibility that no U.S. forces would stay, but no decision has been made.
In a twice-a-year report to Congress, the Pentagon said July 30 that it will be difficult to judge whether Afghanistan can keep the upper hand against the Taliban until the exact size of a post-2014 U.S. military presence is determined. AP