Last month, 31 U.S. troops died in the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. 25 were killed in Afghanistan, making it the second bloodiest January since the war began in 2001, and 6 were killed in Iraq, despite President Obama having declared an end to “combat operations” in this ongoing 8-year war.
According to the latest running tally at CostofWar.com, the U.S. has now spent $772 billion on the Iraq War and $374 billion on the Afghanistan War. An additional $117 billion more for both wars is expected in Fiscal Year 2012, even as the federal budget deficit is projected to hit a record high $1.5 trillion this year and at least $1.1 trillion next year.
In Pakistan, over 10,000 reportedly attended a mass protest of continued U.S. drone strikes against suspected militants. Most polls have shown that a majority of Pakistanis reject President Obama’s drone strategy due to a perceived undermining of their nation’s sovereign territory and a relatively high rate of civilian casualties associated with the unmanned attacks.