Sad news reaches us today from Afghanistan. The Canadians have lost five, including four soldiers and a journalist. Other reports say that we lost eight of our own CIA people. Deepest condolences to the Canadians, our people at CIA, and thier families.
While many people celebrate the New Year, others will begin the year with no joy. Some will embark on 2010 knowing they will fight through the year, unless the hand of God reaches down and takes them home. Tonight, I will watch the ball drop from Hong Kong with only silence and no celebration.
Please see the final dispatch for 2009: Into Thine Hand
On this small base surrounded by a mixture of enemy and friendly territory, a memorial has been erected just next to the Chapel. Inside the tepee are 21 photos of 21 soldiers killed during the first months of a year-long tour of duty. The fallen will belong forever to the honor rolls of the 1-17th Infantry Battalion, 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, and they will join the sacred list of names of those who have given their lives in service of the United States of America.
The War in Afghanistan has truly begun. This will be a long, difficult fight that is set to eclipse anything we’ve seen in Iraq. As 2010 unfolds, Mike's 6th year of war coverage will unfold with it. There is relatively little interest in Afghanistan by comparison to previous interest in Iraq, and so reader interest is low. Afghanistan is serious, very deadly business. Like Iraq, however, it gets pushed around as a political brawling pit while the people fighting the war are mostly forgotten. The arguments at home seem more likely to revolve around a few words from the President than the ground realities of combat here. Mike can bring the ground realities, but can sustain the coverage only by the graciousness of readers. Please keep that in mind. Please click…