US Military Deaths Are Surging Under Trump

New data made public by the Department of Defense shows that the number of U.S. military deaths overseas in 2017 has already hit a six-year high, despite more than a month remaining in the year.

In 2016, 26 U.S. servicemembers died, whereas this year, that number has climbed to 31 – not including a pair of deadly naval collisions which, together, killed 17 individuals. This trend is not terribly surprising given the series of fatal U.S. military incidents since February.

Shortly after being sworn into office, President Donald Trump approved a special operations mission in Yemen that had been on the drawing board for some time, according to insiders. Though President Obama remained unconvinced that the plan was a good idea, Trump differed in opinion; this ultimately resulted in the death of a Navy Seal and an 8-year-old U.S. citizen.

Many, including Sen. John McCain, decried the operation as a “failure.” After the fact, details surfaced to suggest that the operation was almost certainly carried out based on insufficient military intelligence.

In the summer, two U.S. destroyers — the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain — experienced deadly collisions with civilian ships, leaving 17 dead. After an investigation, the U.S. Navy admitted that these incidents were “avoidable.”

More recently, four U.S. troops were killed by militants in Niger in a clash that lead to several senior members of Congress, including Republicans, to question U.S. operations in Africa.

Before demanding answers from the Department of Defense, senators tasked with Pentagon oversight believed U.S. military operations in Africa consisted of 1,000 troops — the reality, they soon learned, was that more than 6,000 American troops are actually on the continent.

When and why this surge occurred has not been made publicly clear, but it is troubling to say the least — especially because Congress learned of this fact at the same time as the American public.

The rising number of dead U.S. servicemembers, however, pales in comparison to the soaring civilian death toll incurred by President Trump’s escalation of military activity in virtually all war zones with U.S. involvement.

Ship and air-based strikes carried out in Yemen, for instance, have led to a spike in civilian deaths. In Mosul, Iraq, a bombing campaign left as many as 300 innocents dead after U.S. forces targeted residential areas in March.

In June, U.S. forces were accused of using white phosphorus in Iraq and Syria, a weapon so horrific its use has been outlawed by international bodies. Despite U.S. officials’ denial, watchdog groups have documented civilian areas being targeted by such weaponry.

And then there’s Trump’s saber rattling with both North Korea and Venezuela. In less than a year of his presidency, he has firmly established a blatant disregard for putting the lives of both foreign civilians and U.S. troops in harm’s way.

Unsurprisingly, Trump has deflected any blame, insisting that fault be placed instead upon military commanders. And though that might be legitimate in some circumstances, at the end of the day, the president of the United States has another title: commander-in-chief.

Ultimately, military operations are the responsibility of the person inhabiting the Oval Office — and no one else.

Photo Credit: U.S. Military staff / Wikimedia Commons

53 comments

Karin H
Karin Hanson18 days ago

The Mango Magot considers his troops to be a disposable commodity.... actually he thinks the same way about anyone who isn't a mega millionaire. DEPLORABLE DICK-tator.















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Elaine W
Elaine W19 days ago

Trump in power has proven to be a danger to all.

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Joan E
Joan E19 days ago

Rachel, as a Never-Trumper, I do not want military deaths to soar. Why would I want that? I and others like me despise Trump because he destroys everything he touches, making things worse for people with his cave-man-level ideas.

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Marija M
Marija M20 days ago

I need butterflies...

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MilliSiteProbs M
MilliSiteProbs M20 days ago

Some comments are pretty funny (not), now I wonder when people enlist (since Trump became President that is) are they asked their political affiliation and only those that are Democrats are accepted because they are disposable? Really? I don't think so, the conscription or "draft" is long gone, voluntary enlistment is how the military procures individuals to serve, politics has zip to do with whom decides to enlist/join up. Having said that, the law requires all young men to register through the Selective Service System which allows a draft to be activated if needed. Pity, Llowell missed his calling!

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MilliSiteProbs M
MilliSiteProbs M20 days ago

Pity Llowell would not swallow a truth serum and post an accurately statement JUST ONCE. Take a look at your past Presidents and count the total US military staff that lost their lives under them.
Also take a look at the middle east news and wake up and smell the roses. "Iran Promises Eradication of Israel in Next War" or how about " More that 150 killed in Sinai Terrorist Attack" At least 150 people are dead following an explosion Friday that hit a mosque on the al-Rawdah mosque in the town of Bir al-Abd, 40 km (25 miles) from the North Sinai provincial capital of El-Arish, Egyptian state news agency Mena reported. No group has claimed responsibility, although it appears to have been perpetrated by the local Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate". There are updates on these two but they are only two of many incidents reported in the middle east. And you think terrorism is a myth? That it will not impact your safe little world? ISIS could care less whom they murder, the more the merrier, Islam considers those that worship in the above mosque not to be true believers and must repent or be eradicated! And you think Trump should pull out and let em have at it then? Think you should travel over there and do a story, would be good to spend some time in captivity, that is if you don't have your head sliced off in front of a camera!

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Winn Adams
Winn A20 days ago

tRUMP has no soul. Just sayin . . . . . . .

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Peggy B
Peggy B20 days ago

Shared

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Adele E Zimmermann

The disorder and chaos in the mind of our Commander -in-Chief, and in the White House, is reflected in the military. Our military, especially the Navy, are acting as if there is nobody at the helm. Would you cruise on a ship steered by Donald Trump?

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Brian F
Brian F20 days ago

This fat pig, 3Trump is a coward like most Republicans, and never served in the military. Trump could care less because his sons will never go to war. He's insulated in his mansion, and protected from the repercusions of his bad policies.

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