January war update

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.