The following column originally appeared on AEIdeas.org, the blog of the American Enterprise Institute.
In an interview with ABC News, President Donald Trump talked about the “carnage” taking place in Chicago, declaring, “Afghanistan is not like what’s happening in Chicago. People are being shot left and right. Thousands of people over a short period of time.”
Is Trump right that Chicago is more dangerous that Afghanistan? For Americans, yes. If you compare US casualties in Afghanistan to those in Chicago, the “Windy City” has been a far more perilous place for Americans. Consider the statistics.
The total number of Americans killed in Afghanistan since 2001 under Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel is 2,377. By contrast, there have been 8,229 murders in Chicago during that same time period. Here is the year by year breakdown:
2017: 45 (so far)
Marc Thiessen is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) where he studies and writes about American presidential leadership and counterterrorism. He also writes about general US foreign and defense policy issues and contributes to the AEIdeas blog. A member of the White House senior staff under President George W. Bush, Thiessen served as chief speechwriter to the president and to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Before joining the Bush administration, Thiessen spent more than six years as spokesman and senior policy adviser to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R-NC). A weekly columnist for The Washington Post, Thiessen is also a contributor to Fox News, appearing several nights a week on “The Kelly File.” His book on the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation program, “Courting Disaster” (Regnery Press, 2010), is a New York Times bestseller. Thiessen is also the coauthor, with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, of “Unintimidated” (Sentinel, 2013). Thiessen has done postgraduate studies at the Naval War College and has a B.A. from Vassar College