Entries in Casualities (4)


Report: U.S. Troop Casualties Down in 2011 

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- For the first time in four years, U.S. military deaths dropped in 2011, USA Today reports. U.S. military troops have recently experienced successful runs against Taliban insurgents and coalition forces.

According to Pentagon reports compiled by USA Today, deaths of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan totaled 405 in 2011 -- an 18-percent decline from the previous year.  Also in 2011, allied deaths, including U.S. outfits, totaled 545 -- down from 699 in 2010. According to the reports, the death toll for coalition forces had been climbing since 2005.

Despite the encouraging numbers, a think tank analyst told USA Today that the declining number of U.S. casualties is not the best gauge for progress in the war with Afghan insurgents.

Although these numbers can impact American public opinion, Seth Jones tell USA Today, "The struggle is for the hearts and minds of the Afghan population."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


August Marks First Month in Iraq War with No US Fatalities

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(BAGHDAD) -- At the beginning of August, the number of U.S. troops who died in the eight-year-long Iraq war stood at 4,465, according to the Department of Defense.  When August ended, the number hadn't changed.

As The New York Times reports, this represents the first month ever that no U.S. service personnel lost their lives in Iraq.  There are currently 48,000 American troops deployed there, nearly all of whom are scheduled to leave the country by Jan. 1, 2012.

Col. Douglas Crissman, who commands American soldiers in four provinces, told the newspaper the reason for this unusual circumstance has mostly to do with the improved capabilities of Iraqi security forces.

Indeed, the Iraqis have done more to fight back against Iranian-backed Shiite militias taking their marching orders from Iran in order to hasten a U.S. departure.  Unilateral strikes by U.S. forces have also diminished the enemy’s capabilities.

It isn’t clear whether the military will remain casualty-free through the end of 2011.  In July, 14 American troops were killed -- the most in three years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Several Cops Dead After Attack on Afghan Police Check Post

U.S. State Department(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Militants stormed a police check post in eastern Afghanistan Wednesday morning, killing at least six police officers and triggering an hours-long firefight, according to the local police chief.

The attack took place in Ghazni province in the Qarah Bagh district, about 75 miles southwest of Kabul.  It is one of the more violent districts in the country.  Just three days ago, three police officers were killed in another checkpoint attack in the same district.

There are thousands of U.S. troops in Ghazni, but violence there has increased and the security on the main highway has decreased in the last few years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Report: Afghan Civilians More than Ever in the Line of Fire

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Civilian casualties in Afghanistan rose substantially during 2010, according to a new United Nations report detailing the human cost of the nearly ten-year-long war.

The annual report on civilian deaths showed 2,777 fatalities last year, an increase of 15 percent from the previous 12 months.

Three-quarters of the fatalities were due to the Taliban, which increased assassinations, suicide attacks and roadside bombings in 2010.  Militants are less reluctant to go after better-equipped allied troops and instead focus mostly on Afghan security forces or civilians.

About 16 percent of civilian deaths were blamed on either U.S. or NATO soldiers while the remaining nine percent of casualties could not be attributed.

The Afghan government has been sharply critical of the coalition over so-called "friendly fire" deaths.  Last week, nine boys were accidentally killed in an air strike that was meant to target insurgents.

Despite the condemnation, the U.S. military has gone out of its way to reduce civilian casualties, which dropped 26 percent from 2009.

Most of the deaths caused by the Taliban are from suicide bombings and makeshift explosives, although the group increased its assassinations of civilians in 2010 in an effort to destabilize the central government.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio