More US Forces Killed In Afghanistan Last Month Than Iraq

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Bush, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Military, Pakistan, Terrorism, The War On Terrorism, The World

And considering we have about 26,000 troops in Afghanistan, the overall percentage proves that Afghanistan has been a much, much deadlier place for quite some time.

Not surprisingly, I found this news in a story about an attack by the Taliban that freed hundreds of inmates from an Afghan prison:

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – U.S. and NATO troops aided Afghan forces with reconnaissance in a hunt Saturday for 870 inmates who escaped prison after a sophisticated Taliban assault that even NATO conceded was a success for the militants.

A roadside bomb, meanwhile, killed four U.S. Marines sent to southwestern Afghanistan to help train the country’s fledgling police. The deadliest attack on American forces this year came one day after the U.S. defense secretary highlighted the fact that more American and allied troops were killed in Afghanistan than in Iraq last month.

Here are some numbers from the AP to chew on…

By the Pentagon’s count, 15 U.S. and two allied troops were killed in action in Iraq last month, a total of 17. In Afghanistan it was 19, including 14 Americans and five coalition troops. One month does not make a trend, but in this case the statistics are so out of whack with perceptions of the two wars that Gates could use them to drive home his point about Afghanistan. [...]

However, I think the AP’s math is off when comparing the amount of forces in Afghan and Iraq:

The comparison is even more remarkable if you consider that there are about three times more U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq than in Afghanistan. Since the Iraq war began in March 2003, there have been just under 4,100 U.S. deaths — including more than 3,300 killed in action — according to the Pentagon’s count. In the Afghan campaign, which began in October 2001, the U.S. death total is just over 500, including 313 killed in action.

If I remember correctly, there are about 155,000 US troops in Iraq, and that’s not even counting the 180,000 private security contractors who operate as defacto soldiers in many ways. And since many of the “coalition” troops are gone, adding them to the total Iraq mix would only make a nominal difference.

So if the number of troops in Afghanistan is around the levels they were last November (26,000), then there are nearly 6 times more U.S troops in Iraq than in Afghanistan and not the 3 times the AP claims.

Given these realities, don’t we think it’s time to refocus our attention on the Afghanistan/Pakistan region, especially since we know it has a specific area set aside as a safe haven for terrorists?

More as it develops…


This entry was posted on Saturday, June 14th, 2008 and is filed under Bush, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Military, Pakistan, Terrorism, The War On Terrorism, The World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “More US Forces Killed In Afghanistan Last Month Than Iraq”

  1. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    We’ve been spending billions on this fruitless war in Afghanistan for 8 years, we need to bring all of these troops home now so we spend the money on wind-turbines, and try to ween ourselves off of foreign sources of heroin.

  2. gerryf Says:

    Yes, as soon as we can say Mission Accomplished like we did in Iraq just over 5 years ago….

    Lemme see, the mission in Afghanistan was to get Osama bin Laden dead or alive…..drat, another total failure by the Bushies.

    What was the mission in Iraq again..oh yeah….weapons of mass destruction…oops….bring freedom and prosperity to the Iraqi people….oops…9/11!…oops…they’re Saddam is conspiring with terrorists…oops…not the oil, anything but the oil….ooops

  3. James Says:

    17 dead in one month in Iraq? And your response is this? I understand the cost argument of bringing our troops home. To be honest the second Iraqi troops won in Basra, I thought “well, they can take care of themselves now.” But 17 dead in one month is nearing the total mortality rates in the U.S. for people between the ages of 20-45!
    17/150,000 = 11.333 per 100,000
    US Mortality for ages 25-45 = 11 per 100,000 (according to the CDC)
    That is in no uncertain terms absolutely remarkable.

    You’re only looking at American Forces; the AP was looking at all coalition forces; to call our allies “nominal” might make sense in Iraq, but most certainly not for Afghanistan. ISAF has primarily been run by non-Americans and three of the four regional commands are under non-American control. The numbers look more like this:

    Iraq
    ~150,000 Troops including coalition forces (and falling as we go down to pre-surge levels)

    Afghanistan
    ~40,000 Troops including coalition forces depending on the whims of national politics. France just send another 800 troops and the U.S. Marines went in.

    Regarding contractors, there are roughly 160,000 in Iraq, about half of whom are Iraqi. Of the rest, the vast majority are not security persay, rather reconstruction and so forth. This also does not take into account the fact that there are contractors in droves in Afghanistan as well.

  4. Donklephant » Blog Archive » Meanwhile, In Afghanistan… Says:

    [...] reminder…last month the number of American military casualties in Afghanistan were actually more than we had in Iraq. This entry was posted on Friday, June 27th, 2008 and is [...]

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