Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Interesting Military Statistics

Thanks to Anne Palmer who sent me a link to a report recently put out by the Federation of American Scientists. This is a non partisan group that often publishes on the internet some fascinating material on the militaries of the world, among other topics.

Some of the numbers that one sees are very interesting. In the three year span that opened the Clinton Administration, 3,328 American service personnel lost their lives. These represented the worst three years of losses during his presidency. Incidentally, this was the high tide of post Cold War budget cutting as well. The highest three years of US military casualties during the George W. Bush Administration in this report (which only extends to 2006) number 5,489. So yes the Bush administration's number is higher; however we must remember that we were fighting a tenacious enemy on two separate fronts in the Bush years.

Amazingly in the top three years of accident related deaths, the Clinton Administration's worst three years totalled 1,714 while Bush's presidency saw 1,825. In time of war, one would expect higher levels of stress and long term deployments to lead to more accidents. They have, but not by a substantially higher number. The figures for self-inflicted incidents are eye opening as well. The media has continually reminded us that our forces are in a seriously strained condition. Undoubtedly the horrors of war do take their toll on each man or woman exposed to them. However, the top three years of self-inflicted incidents during Clinton's term total 718 while Bush's top three years in the study were 579. Almost 150 fewer than in Clinton's first three years of office.

These numbers do not say anything personally about Bill Clinton; however since Democrats including his wife have continually bashed the military's performance at war under Bush, it is worthwhile to listen to what they tell us. Under George W. Bush the military has shown itself to be at a peak of efficiency and effectiveness. This is the result of the pride shown by each serviceman and the leadership demonstrated by officers as well as the determination to see the job finished correctly and effectively.

The report can be read in its entirety at the link below.

Every day we see Barack Obama shoot himself in the foot. Now he needs to explain why tapping into the strategic oil reserve is a good method to lower gas prices and alleviate suffering now, but tapping into the massive pools off our coastlines and under ANWAR will do no good for decades. Simply put, Obama has figured out that he must deal with John McCain's arguments of substance in some fashion.

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