Afghan Death Toll Rises; Media Interest Declines

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The war in Afghanistan gets little attention by the mainstream media these days. But the loss of American lives continues to mount. Just last week, seven U.S. troops were killed by a powerful bomb which had exploded in a field where they were patrolling on foot. At least twenty-eight Americans have been killed in May, 2011 alone, according to the Associated Press.

To date, the Department of Defense has identified 1582 American service members who have died as part of the Afghanistan war and related operations, the majority of whom were killed since President Obama took office. During the Obama administration, more American service members have died in Afghanistan than during all the prior years since the Afghanistan war began in 2001.

For the U.S. military, 2010 was the deadliest year of the Afghanistan war so far. 499 service members died. Additionally, there were 5,182 US forces wounded in 2010. This represents more than half of all U.S. forces wounded in the entire Afghanistan war, which totaled 9,957 at the end of 2010.

The total U.S. military deaths compiled by the Defense Department for Operation Enduring Freedom for the years 2001 through 2010 are as follows:

Total Number of Military Deaths by Year

2001  2002   2003  2004  2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010

11       49       45       52      98       83      106     155     311     499

Two factors have contributed to the increase in American fatalities during the Obama administration. The first reason is President Obama’s decision in December 2009 to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. This Obama “surge” represented a major escalation of America’s military presence there, putting more of our soldiers in harm’s way.

The second factor contributing to the increase in American fatalities since President Obama took office has been the more restrictive rules of engagement that the Obama administration has put in place to reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties. These rules, although loosened somewhat under General Petraeus, have restricted the use of air power and heavy weaponry in populated areas and prohibited our troops from shooting at the enemy unless fired upon first. This has the effect of shifting more of the risk of engagement from the Taliban and its allies to our own troops.

While statistics of civilian casualties resulting directly from NATO and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) military action have shown a decline during the last two years as stricter rules of engagement have been implemented to protect civilians from harm, civilians are still losing their lives from NATO attacks.

In the most recent example, on May 30, 2011 a NATO airstrike killed at least nine civilians in Afghanistan, including several women and children.

This latest incident occurred less than three months after NATO helicopter gunners had killed nine boys collecting firewood to heat their homes in the eastern Afghanistan mountains, mistaking them for Taliban insurgents. The killing of the nine boys, in turn, occurred less than two weeks after tribal elders in the Pech valley area of Kunar province had claimed NATO forces killed more than fifty civilians in air and ground strikes, a claim denied by NATO.

These are not isolated incidents. NATO airstrikes, including on houses where Taliban insurgents are believed to be hiding, have inflicted a heavy toll on Afghan civilians. Angered by the latest civilian deaths, President Hamid Karzai said on May 31st he will no longer allow NATO airstrikes on houses.

“If this is repeated,” Karzai warned, “Afghanistan has a lot of ways of stopping it, but we don’t want to go there.” He said that NATO forces risk being seen as an “occupying force,” utilizing one of the Taliban insurgents’ key talking points.

NATO officials apologized for the latest incident, but responded to Karzai’s threat that airstrikes on houses are essential and will continue.

Moreover, despite more U.S. troops committed to fighting the anti-government terrorist forces and providing more security to civilians, the number of civilian deaths at the hands of the terrorist forces has actually increased during the first two years of the Obama administration.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) issues annual reports with statistics, which constitute the most reliable source available for data on civilian casualties.

The following describes the data on civilian deaths in Afghanistan from UNAMA reports for the first two years of the Obama administration, with some comparisons to prior year figures during the Bush administration:

2007: Total = 1523;  2008: Total = 2118;  2009: Total = 2412;  2010: Total = 2777

UNAMA recorded a total of 2,412 civilian deaths during 2009. This figure represented an increase of 14% on the 2118 civilian deaths recorded in 2008. Of the 2,412 deaths reported in 2009, 1,630 (67%) were attributed to the Taliban and other terrorist insurgents and 596 (25%) to NATO, ISAF and other pro-government forces. The remainder of reported civilian deaths could not be clearly attributed to any particular side.

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  • BS77

    What is the end strategy in Afghanistan? We have been there twice as long as WW 2…….something is wrong with this situation.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      The end strategy is to win the hearts and minds of Muslims, and never mind the fact that Muslims are obligated to have nothing but enmity in their hearts for unbelievers.

      • emil

        in order to win the hearts and minds of anyone's, you have to have that persons interests in mind rather than your owns.

        • ObamaYoMoma

          in order to win the hearts and minds of anyone's, you have to have that persons interests in mind rather than your owns.

          Uhm…it is impossible for unbelievers to win the hearts and minds of Muslims and if our illustrious leaders understood that, they never would have attempted this silly assed fantasy based nation-building mission that was doomed to fail even before it was implemented since it is based on false political correct premises like Islam is a Religion of Peace™ being hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists. Not only that but nation-building also destroys one of the biggest purposes of war, to create deterrence as it removes any and all deterrence, which is also why the delusional self-hating left employs it.

          Nevertheless, obviously BHO has the same self-hating leftwing mindset that you do, which is why he instituted the suicidal rules of engagement that put the lives of Muslims first and foremost above that of American troops in Afghanistan, and it is also the main reason why American casualties have rocketed up since he took office as a direct result. Indeed, it is a product of the fallacy of multiculturalism whereby it is assumed that all cultures are equal and the same. In any event, it doesn’t matter because there is nothing American unbelievers can do to win the hearts and minds of Muslims who are obligated to hate our unbeliever guts no matter what. Hence, no matter how many American lives BHO needlessly sacrifices at the unholy altar of multiculturalism, he will never successfully win the hearts and minds of Muslims because it is literally impossible.

          You know self-hating leftists along with Ron Paul anarcho kooks obsess over why the Islamic world hates us. Self-hating leftists and Ron Paul anarcho kooks invariably blame it on our support for Israel and claim that America is imperialist and a bully nation. Never mind the fact that the Islamic world is the biggest and most ruthless colonialist and imperialist the world has ever seen. Indeed, the sole purpose and main goal of Islam is to subjugate the world into a very draconian form of Islamic totalitarianism via the imposition of Sharia, and it is also the sole purpose they hit us on 9/11. Indeed, Israel, the Crusades, or our ouster of Mossadegh didn’t have anything to do with it.

          In any event, the reason Muslims constantly incite hatred and violence against the West incessantly doesn’t have anything whatsoever to do with what we do or do not do as it is a manifestation of Islam, since Muslims are obligated to have nothing but hate in their hearts for all unbelievers. Hence, no matter what we do or do not do, Muslims will turn it around and use it to incite hatred and violence against us regardless.

          We [believers] disown you [non-believers] and what you worship besides Allah. We renounce you. Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us—until you believe in Allah alone (Koran 60:4).

          In fact Islam divides the world between believers and unbelievers and applies one set of rules and ethics for believers and a completely different set of rules and ethics for unbelievers. Indeed, the reason why Christians and really all unbelievers who are unfortunate enough to have to live in Muslim majority countries are without exception always violently oppressed and systematically persecuted when not outright slaughtered altogether is also a manifestation of Islam.

          Also, the reason why Muslim immigrants to the West flat out refuse to assimilate and integrate and form Muslim no-go zones ruled by Sharia as parallel societies within societies and in direct contravention to the laws of the states in which they reside is also a manifestation of Islam. Yet, self-hating leftists and Ron Paul anarcho kooks blame it all on Israel and America, go figure.

  • Al47

    What's the point of staying in a country so backward, with different ethnic groups, few roads to move troops, with a history of foreign invaders unable to win battles? We need to stop our involvement there once and for all. The money is ill-spent and is needed at home to solve our financial crisis. We are being bled to death.

  • kafir4life

    Now that President Hussein is in charge, the media will give him a pass on anything he does. Altho' tongue in cheek, this explains it. http://www.theonion.com/articles/media-having-tro

  • Steve Chavez

    We could just carpet bomb every city like the Soviets did and what the Soviets did recently in Georgia! They leveled the place they were there to save!

    The United States cares about others so they invented laser-guided SMART weapons to target a particular building or home. This minimized collateral damage but when one, out of hundreds, goes astray, the media goes after the "baby killers!"

    Now the military is again restricted from entering homes even though they surely have evidence that insurgents are hiding in the home! This Karzai restriction will only lead to more of our soldiers deaths as the insurgents can shoot at us but then they go hide in a home or under the woman's burka and behind a baby crib! COWARDS! No criticism by Karzai of using HUMAN SHIELDS? If it is the insurgents home and therefore puts his whole family in danger, then it is his fault and only his fault if they are killed!

    • ObamaYoMoma

      This minimized collateral damage

      It also minimizes deterrence, which should be one of the biggest objectives of war.

  • R. J. Olson

    This is what happens when lobs run a war! Ok guys, go get the enemy, but here's a bunch of rules that will make it harder for you to do and more likely get you killed! War is not a game! it is the ugliest, most brutal, thing that human beings engage in and sadly, will be with us for a very long time to come. General Sherman understood that the best way to end a war was to make it as brutal as possible so it comes to a conclusion as fast as possible. Not since WW II has this country fought an all out war. Instead we engage in "police actions", " limited conflicts" and whatnot. Every single engagement has been a disaster since then- Korea, Vietnam, the indecisive finish of Gulf 1, and now the protractedness of Iraq and Afganistan. We have the most capable military in the history of humanity, but no will to unleash it's full effect upon the enemy. Unless we understand that the best way to prevent civilian casualties is to prevail decisively and leave the enemy demoralized and unwilling to continue the conflict, this nation has won it's last war. The things we demand of our fighting men and women, the way we hamstring them and their efforts to achieve victory, is insane! The fact we do as well as we do is a testament to their professionalism and courage under fire…

  • USMCSniper

    What do you expect when you put a Marxist Clandestine Muslim Community Tribalist Organizer in as the Commander-In Chief? I am of the opinion this inept fool is living up to his expectations of himself. The Carthage Strategy must be employed or just get out. It is an either – or as containment will never work. Muslims are like Orks of Middle Earth and require an annihilation for them to stop jihadism.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      I hate to have to rain on your parade, but GWB wasn’t exactly too conservative or too bright himself. In fact, he is one of the major reasons BHO is president today. Don’t believe me? Just ask Donald Trump.

  • BLJ

    We are fighting an enemy on his own turf that plays by no rules. Our brave troops have one arm tied behind their backs once again. That place is more worthless than the moon. I say we tell them to pound sand and leave.

    Of course the MSM and other groups like Code Pink are mum about the growing casualties. There golden child is in the White House now. Bring the troops home and send these trolls over there.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    What better place to bleed us out and deplete all of our resources, weaken
    our ability to wage war and sour the National consciousness on a deadly
    game of nation building. We are not accomplishing anything in Afghanistan,
    if we are there to kill Taliban and Al Qaeda than locate and destroy should
    be the orders of the day. Touring around, marching over all kinds ot terrain
    and throughout hovels becomes only one thing, targets for the enemy.
    War is not about civilians, it is about destroying the enemy and the enemy's
    society. The leftist agenda to bog us down and destroy or capabilities
    leads to the nonsense Obama is playing out. The way to end this is to
    get rid of the Obama administration before we have nothing left, he does
    more damage to America than all Al Qaeda and Talliban combined.
    William

  • Patriotrick

    The pathetic part of this is the lack of reporting by the MSM. The next time someone tries to suggest there is no media bias I'll point them to this article and ask them to explain why during the Bush years all that was in the news was death reports.

  • Maxie

    ", although loosened somewhat under General Petraeus, have restricted the use of air power and heavy weaponry in populated areas and prohibited our troops from shooting at the enemy unless fired upon first."

    Call this what it is: Social work in bad neighborhoods. It is not war it's suicide where the deaths of our troops is considered preferable to that of indiginuos civilians. To order our troops into such situations is nothing less tha criminal. Just one more reason to get rid of our golf-playing, party animal, Community Agitator-in-Chief. I'm ashamed of what's being done to our men and women over there.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    For the U.S. military, 2010 was the deadliest year of the Afghanistan war so far. 499 service members died. Additionally, there were 5,182 US forces wounded in 2010. This represents more than half of all U.S. forces wounded in the entire Afghanistan war, which totaled 9,957 at the end of 2010.

    That’s the predictable outcome of the serge in Afghanistan and the insane suicidal rules of engagement. More troops deployed to Afghanistan means more troops in harms way, and suicidal rules of engagement means more American deaths and wounded. What is really sad is those troops are needlessly being sacrificed for a mission that is incredibly fantasy based and that was doomed to be a lost cause even before it was ever implemented.

    Had the Bush administration not so miserably failed in its obligation to protect America and to know our enemy, which is orthodox mainstream Islam and not some politically correct fictitious and mythical nonexistent “radical” Islam or even terrorists, for that matter, the two fantasy based nation-building missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, which, by the way, are in reality the two biggest strategic blunders ever in US history, could have totally been avoided altogether.

    Not only that but GWB promised in his first campaign for President to never deploy our troops to do nation-building missions. However, GWB became the fantasy based nation-building mission President. In other words, GWB was really a stealth liberal and a damn liar, as he didn’t and still doesn’t have a conservative bone in his exceedingly liberal body, and Donald Trump is right, he is the main reason the country is stuck with Barack Obama today.

    Nevertheless, it is literally impossible for unbelievers, let alone America, to win the hearts and minds of Muslims, because Muslims are obligated to maintain nothing but enmity in their hearts for unbelievers. Not only that but poverty, despair, and hopelessness have exactly nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism and the truth is it is not really terrorism but instead violent jihad.

    Hence, not only did the Bush administration declare war against a tactic, it also miserably failed to understand the true nature of that tactic and thus as a result the USA ever since 9/11 has been transfixed only on violent jihad, which it misconstrues as being terrorism, at the same time it has totally ignored the exponentially far greater amount of stealth and deceptive non-violent jihad that takes place completely unchallenged and undetected.

    Moreover, move over delusional leftists and Ron Paul anarcho kooks, the Islamic world doesn’t hate us because the USA is the only country in the world that still supports Israel and because the USA are imperialist bullies. The Islamic world hates all unbelievers because Muslims are obligated, per the texts and tenets of Islam, to have nothing but enmity in their hearts for unbelievers. Hence, the constant incitement to hatred and violence that takes place incessantly throughout the Islamic world doesn’t have anything to do whatsoever with what Israel and the USA do or do not do. Instead, it is completely a manifestation of Islam, as Islam divides the world between believers and unbelievers and applies one set of rules and ethics for believers and a completely different set of rules and ethics for unbelievers. So get over your self-hating selves!

    Anyway, what the hell are we still doing in Afghanistan? Trying to stop it from becoming a terrorist haven? Hell, are we out of our collective minds, the entire Islamic world is a terrorist haven, and in any event it is not really terrorism but violent jihad, and I have news for you guys, the non-violent variety of jihad, which is employed by the Islamic world on an exponentially far greater scale, is far more dangerous in the long run than the violent variety.

    For instance, mass Muslim immigration to the West is non-violent stealth and deceptive jihad and instead of being challenged it is being welcomed. Indeed, without millions of Muslims already living in America as stealth and deceptive jihadists and also without a network of thousands of mosques and madrassas, the 9/11 terrorist attacks would have been completely impossible. Indeed, the only reason America and the West are vulnerable to violent jihad attacks is because we have millions of stealth and deceptive non-violent jihadists living in our midst.

    Nevertheless, if anyone believes the Sharia states of Afghanistan and Iraq will ever become the loyal friends and reliable allies of the USA, I have a bridge I need to sell them. Indeed, look at Iraq; to humiliate America it has already announced that it will seek closer military cooperation with Iran to help stabilize the region. Meanwhile Christian unbelievers living in Iraq are violently oppressed when not outright slaughtered altogether, exactly like what occurs to all unbelievers living in all Muslim majority countries around the world without exception. While the Sharia government we are currently propping up like fools in Afghanistan, punishes blasphemy and apostasy via death at the same time, and our unhinged leaders never even blink an eye. Instead, they absurdly repeat, “We must win hearts and minds.”

    • paul

      Agree 100%, the problem with the Muslim world is that it’s full of Muslims.

      If we really wanted to win this war of civilizations we would create an ever expanding zone that is ‘voluntarily’ Muslim free. These areas would contain natural resources that would be developed and sold to defray our cost and later become the foundation of a self-supporting and thriving nation once we pulled out.

      In this way all those who want to flee Islam or would gladly exchange it for a happy life (I’m guess about 75% of the Muslim population if given a choice) would form the basis of the new nation that is voluntarily Muslim free. At which point the dead enders would have nowhere to hide and generally have no one to breed with. Repeat and advance.

      No instead we forced to choose between the equally self-hating polices of George “Islam is Peace” Bush or Barack Hussein Obama whose name needs no modification.

  • mrbean

    Obama plans to lose the war. What else would you expect when you put a Marxist Clandestine Muslim Community Tribalist Organizer in as the Commander-In Chief? I am of the opinion this inept fool is living up to his expectations of himself. The Carthage Strategy must be employed or just get out. It is an either – or as containment will never work. Muslims are like Orks of Middle Earth and require an annihilation for them to stop jihadism.