86% of Troops Wounded in Afghan War Wounded on Obama’s Watch
(CNSNews.com) -- Eighty-six percent of the U.S. troops who have been wounded in the war in Afghanistan incurred their injuries after January 2009, the month President Barack Obama was first inaugurated, according to the Department of Defense.
The Afghan War began on Oct. 7, 2001, and in the more than 12 years since then, 19,793 U.S. service personnel have been wounded in and around Afghanistan in support of U.S. military activities in that country.
17,095 of those 19,793 wounded U.S. military personnel--or 86.4%--were injured between the start of February 2009 and May 2014. 2,698 of the 19,793--or 13.6 percent--were wounded between October 2001 and January 2009.
To date, 2,198 U.S. military personnel have lost their lives in the Afghanistan War, according to CNSNews.com’s database of U.S. casualties. Among those casualties, 1,629 U.S. military personnel, or 74.1%, have died since Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009.
President Obama announced the first of his multiple increases in U.S. military personnel deployed to Afghanistan on Feb. 17, 2009.
“To meet urgent security needs, I approved a request from Secretary Gates to deploy a Marine Expeditionary Brigade later this spring and an Army Stryker Brigade and the enabling forces necessary to support them later this summer,” Obama said on Feb. 17, 2009. “This increase is necessary to stabilize a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, which has not received the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires.”
According to the Congressional Research Service, there were 32,800 U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan in January 2009, when Obama entered office. In February 2009, the U.S. deployment increased to 35,000. By December 2009, the U.S. forces in Afghanistan had increased to 69,000. And, by September 2010, they had risen to 98,000.
Betwwen 2001 to 2013, 762 military personnel incurred major limb amputations in the Afghan War, according to a CRS report. “A major limb amputation includes the loss of one or more limbs, the loss of one or more partial limbs, or the loss of one or more full or partial hand or foot,” CRS states.
“From 2003 until the first quarter of 2009, the majority of the major limb amputations due to battle injuries occurred in [Operation Iraqi Freedom],” reported the CRS. “In the second quarter of 2009, however, the trend changed, and since that time the majority of the major limb amputations due to battle injuries have occurred in [Operation Enduring Freedom].”