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Operation Viper and the Cost of War

30 August 2003 – In conjunction of with Operation Mountain Sweep, US Army forces with the Afghan National Army conducted Operation Viper. The purpose of the operation was to find suspected Taliban fighters and supporters in the mountains of Zabul Province and neutralize them. Members of the 10th Mountain Division, 5th Special Forces Group and around 1,000 ANA Soliders would work through the mountains for around 2 weeks. The difficult terrain caused many issues during the operation. Radio communication suffered due to terrain and overuse of certain channels in the area and the terrain limited resupply to what could be airlifted and dropped. The ANA suffered 5 killed while US Forces had 6 killed, one from a accidental fall and 5 from a ambush. In total over 120 enemy militants were killed during the operation. Overall the operation was successful. 

31 August 1865 – After the end of the Civil War, as with anything, a cost was placed on it. The Federal Government would estimate that the war cost nearly 5 billion dollars, in 1860 dollars. At the start of the war the US Government was around $65 million in debt, by the end of the war it was $5.2 billion! In todays dollars the government started with around $2.1 billion in debt and ended with around  $167 billion. 1,030,000 Americans would become casualties, around 3% of the total US population, that includes the Union and Confederacy. Totals vary some but it is commonly accepted that around 750,000 Soliders were killed. That was around 8% of the total white male population would be killed, based off a 1860 census. The Civil War remains the most deadly war in US history to this day.

2 September 1945 –Within hours of Japans formal surrender that ended WW2, Ho Chi Minh declared an independent Vietnam from France. France would become embroiled in a costly war following this, only for the USA to become involved heavily by the 1950’s.  

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