Seven US Troops Among 11 Dead in Afghanistan Helicopter Crash

The Taliban claimed responsibility for shooting down the Black Hawk, but NATO refused to acknowledge the reason for the crash

by John Glaser, August 16, 2012

Seven US soldiers and three Afghan allies were killed on Thursday when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in southern Kandahar, Afghanistan, NATO authorities said.

“The crash resulted in the deaths of four International Security Assistance Force service members, three United States Forces-Afghanistan service members, three members of the Afghan National Security Forces, and one Afghan civilian interpreter,” International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

ISAF would not divulge the cause of the crash, saying it was under investigation. While the Taliban claimed responsibility for shooting down the helicopter, this could not be confirmed.

However, Afghan insurgents have been successful in shooting down NATO helicopters in the past and the area where the helicopter went down is an insurgent stronghold.

US and NATO authorities are loathe to admit something like that happening though.

The U.S. has begun to recognize that the war is a total failure and the Obama administration is scrambling for a partial withdrawal by 2014. As Dexter Filkins wrote recently in the New Yorker, reiterating the establishment view: “After eleven years, nearly two thousand Americans killed, sixteen thousand Americans wounded, nearly four hundred billion dollars spent, and more than twelve thousand Afghan civilians dead since 2007, the war in Afghanistan has come to this: the United States is leaving, mission not accomplished.”

David Rothkopf, CEO and editor at large of Foreign Policy magazine, has written that President Obama was reluctant to recommit to the Afghan war with a surge in troops from the beginning, but that he did it anyways because he “could not afford to look weak” or “come under political attack from the right.” So, thousands of coalition soldiers and tens of thousands of Afghans have been killed because Obama was afraid to be called a wimp.

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