Rep. Louie Gohmert was the guest on the “WallBuilders Live” radio program today, where he was hailed by hosts David Barton and Rick Green as the voice of “common sense” in Washington, DC as he promoted his effort to repeal the policy prohibiting military members from carrying weapons while on base.
The repeal effort is difficult, Gohmert explained, because “we’re battling an administration that is determined to keep out military from being able to defend themselves properly” and, as proof, he cited the fact that the number of US soldiers killed in Afghanistan has increased during President Obama’s administration:
Look at the fact that even though this Commander in Chief has only been in command of the battle in Afghanistan for five and a quarter years where [George W.] Bush was about seven and a quarter, President Bush was commander when there was really quite a war and there were 625 precious American lives that were taken in that seven and a quarter years. President Obama comes in and he’s trying to wind things up, wrap things up but people end up being killed in his five and a quarter years – going back, halfway through May – it was 1,628; so over a thousand more deaths under Commander Obama than there were under Commander Bush in Afghanistan. There are many times more seriously wounded military members under Obama than there were under Bush, so this is serious stuff.
Of course, the reason there were more casualties and injuries in Afghanistan under President Obama than there were under President Bush is because there were tens of thousands more soldiers in Afghanistan under Obama than under Bush:
By November, 2001 there were 1,300 troops in Afghanistan, a month later those numbers would double to 2,500. The footprint of U.S. forces would remain small for years, not rising above 10,000 until 2003 and not reaching 20,000 until 2006.
By then a resurgent Taliban brought requests from military commanders for additional forces. By late 2008 the Bush administration met some of those requests so that by the time that President Obama entered office in January, 2009 there were 34,400 U.S. military forces in Afghanistan.
But military commanders requested even more forces of the new Obama administration which had campaigned on a platform to end the war in Iraq and re-focus the military fight in Afghanistan.
By March, 2009 President Obama had ordered 21,000 additional forces to Afghanistan. Six months later months later he ordered an additional 33,000 surge forces to meet a request by Gen. Stanley McChrystal for more troops to focus on a counterinsurgency mission.
U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan eventually peaked at 100,000 in August 2010 and from March to May of 2011. Nearly ten times the number of forces there almost a decade before.
But President Obama had placed a timetable for the presence of the elevated surge numbers setting July, 2011 as the beginning of the draw-down of those forces. By the end of 2012 American troop levels had returned to pre-surge levels of 68,000.
In his State of the Union address in February, 2013 President Obama announced that in a year’s time the size of the U.S. force would be reduced by half.