That is the number of U.S. troops who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, as of today:
Four thousand U.S. service members have died in U.S. President George W. Bush’s “war on terror” in Iraq and Afghanistan 5 1/2 years after American forces ousted the Taliban in December 2001.
A total of 3,596 have died in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion that removed Saddam Hussein from power. Some 2,957 of that number were killed in action, according to the latest Department of Defense figures. More than 26,500 personnel have been wounded in that conflict, 11,959 of them so seriously they couldn’t return to duty.
But Bush has no plans to withdraw any troops from Iraq, and Tony Snow advised the news media that if they were planning to hold the White House to the promised deadlines for reaching benchmarks that would indicate the administration’s “surge” was working, they should think again:
President Bush is not contemplating withdrawing forces from Iraq now despite an erosion of support among Republicans for his war policy, the White House said Monday.
The administration also tried to lower expectations about a report due Sunday on whether the Iraqi government is meeting political, economic and security benchmarks that Bush set in January when he announced a buildup of 21,500 U.S. combat forces. White House press secretary Tony Snow said that all of the additional troops had just gotten in place and it would be unrealistic to expect major progress now.
“You are not going to expect all the benchmarks to be met at the beginning of something,” Snow said. “I’m not sure everyone’s going to get an `A’ on the first report.”
But at the same time, he said that Sept. 15 is not “the drop dead date” by which everything should be completed.
That’s the way it goes with the Bushies. Sending more troops to Iraq will produce such and such specific results, and you will be able to see evidence of those results by thus and such a date — but if that date should arrive without the promised progress, then we cancel that deadline. Can’t expect us to meet a deadline for producing results when the results haven’t been produced. We just have to move the deadline up until we produce the results, and if we don’t produce the results and haven’t met the deadline, that means the deadline is invalid, not the promised results. Or, as the grinning death-head puts it:
…There is every reason to believe that [the president] can survive the current calamity-Janes of the Republican party (does anyone really imagine that a veto-proof majority will form in the Senate this week or next?). This nonsense will pass, Congress will go on recess, and Petraeus will have a chance to continue to produce results–and the president and his allies will have a chance to gain political ground here at home. …