On Monday, most Americans paused to remember and express gratitude for the sacrifice of U.S. troops who throughout our long history have given their lives in defense of our nation.
But a report by the Military Times on Monday suggested we should also thank former President Donald Trump, the first president to not start a foreign war since President Jimmy Carter, for a new data point in the war on terror.
The number of American troops “who have died in service to the country overseas has reached its lowest level since the initial military response to 9/11,” the Times reported.
“In the year since Memorial Day, 2020, 18 U.S. service members have died while supporting overseas operations, including Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Operation Inherent Resolve, and NATO’s Kosovo Force,” the Times noted.
“In 2001, 11 service members died, but by 2003, numbers had soared to more than 500 deaths. The death toll peaked in 2007 at 1,020.”
Yet, the Times added, “as of May 27, there have been three deaths in 2021.”
None of those deaths were caused by hostile forces, the report said, and most of the deaths were attributable to vehicle accidents.
In fact, “a U.S. servicemember has not been killed in action since March 11, 2020,” the Times pointed out.
One reason American combat deaths are so low, relative to the recent past, is that Trump not only did not start fresh wars, but he also drew down the troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan to 2,500 in each country, the lowest number since the war on terror started.
Trump had long argued for ending the war in Afghanistan, at least, making that a campaign pledge when he ran in 2016.
And despite liberals’ efforts to paint him as trigger-happy and unworthy to handle the nation’s nuclear arsenal, he said in April 2016, “I will never send our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary, and will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital V. The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies.”
It was a pledge he kept.
Trump, over the objections of many fellow Republicans in Congress, cut a deal last year to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by May 1. President Joe Biden announced that they will remain until Sept. 11.
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