Marc Thiessen: Is Trump right that Chicago is more dangerous than Afghanistan?

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The following column originally appeared on, 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:

2001: 667

2002: 656

2003: 601

2004: 453

2005: 451

2006: 471

2007: 448

2008: 513

2009: 459

2010: 436

2011: 433

2012: 506

2013: 422

2014: 427

2015: 495

2016: 746

2017: 45 (so far)

TOTAL: 8,229

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