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Afghanistan Casualties

Military Forces and Civilians

Susan G. Chesser
Information Research Specialist
Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress
Updated 14 September 2010
R41084

Summary

This report collects statistics from a variety of sources on casualties sustained during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), which began on October 7, 2001, and is ongoing. OEF actions take place primarily in Afghanistan; however, OEF casualties also includes American casualties in Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Yemen.

Casualty data of U.S. military forces are compiled by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), as tallied from the agency's press releases. Also included are statistics on those wounded but not killed. Statistics may be revised as circumstances are investigated and as records are processed through the U.S. military's casualty system. More frequent updates are available at DOD's website at [http://www.defenselink.mil/news/] under "Casualty Update."

A detailed casualty summary of U.S. military forces that includes data on deaths by cause, as well as statistics on soldiers wounded in action, is available at the following DOD website: [http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/castop.htm].

NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) does not post casualty statistics of the military forces of partner countries on the ISAF website at http://www.isaf.nato.int/. ISAF press releases state that it is ISAF policy to defer to the relevant national authorities to provide notice of any fatality. For this reason, this report uses fatality data of coalition forces as compiled by CNN.comand posted online at http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2004/oef.casualties/index.html.

Casualty data of Afghan civilians are reported quarterly by the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA). Deaths of Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army personnel are reported by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction in the quarterly reports to Congress that are required as part of P.L. 110-181.

Because the estimates of Afghan casualties contained in this report are based on varying time periods and have been created using different methodologies, readers should exercise caution when using them and should look to them as guideposts rather than as statements of fact.

This report will be updated as needed.

The following tables present data on U.S. military casualties in Operation Enduring Freedom, deaths of coalition partners in Afghanistan, and Afghan casualties, respectively.

Table I. Operation Enduring Freedom, U.S. Fatalities and Wounded
as of September 14, 2010, 10 a.m. EDT from October 7, 2001

  Fatalities in
and Around
Afghanistana
Fatalities in
Other
Locationsb
Total
Fatalitiesc
Wounded in Action
Hostiled 958 12 970 Returned to Duty
within 72 Hours
3,762
Non-Hostilee 216 82 298 Not Return to Duty
within 72 Hours
4,279
Total 1,174 94 1,268 Total 8,041

    Source: U.S. Department of Defense.

  1. "Fatalities in and around Afghanistan" includes casualties that occurred in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan.

  2. "Other locations" includes casualties that occurred in Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Yemen.

  3. Fatalities include two Department of Defense civilian personnel.

  4. According to the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, as amended through 31 August 2005, a "hostile casualty" is a victim of a terrorist activity or a casualty as the result of combat or attack by any force against U.S. forces, available at http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA43918.

  5. The above-named reference defines a "nonhostile casualty" as a casualty that is not directly attributable to hostile action or terrorist activity, such as casualties due to the elements, self-inflicted wounds, or combat fatigue.

Table 2. American Casualties by Year through September 14, 2010

Year Total
Deaths
Total
Wounded
in Action
2001 11 33
2002 49 74
2003 45 99
2004 52 214
2005 98 268
2006 98 401
2007 117 752
2008 155 793
2009 311 2,139
2010
through
Sept. 14
332 3,268

Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Statistical Information Analysis Division.

--1--

Table 3. Deaths of Coalition Partners in Afghanistan

Country # of Deaths | Country # of Deaths
Australia 21 | Lithuania 1
Belgium 1 | Netherlands

 

24

 

Canada

 

153 | New Zealand

 

1

 

Czech Republic 3 | Norway

 

9

 

Denmark 36 | Poland

 

21

 

Estonia 8 | Portugal

 

2

 

Finland 1 | Romania

 

15

 

France 48 | South Korea

 

1

 

Georgia 1 | Spain

 

30

 

Germany 43 | Sweden

 

4

 

Hungary 4 | Turkey

 

2

 

Italy 26 | United Kingdom

 

335

 

Latvia 4 |  
Total Non-U.S. Coalition Fatalities 794
    Sources: 

    CNN Casualties in Afghanistan, http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/war.casualties/table.afghanistan.html; Canada's Department of National Defence, http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/fallen-disparus/index-eng.asp; United Kingdom Ministry of Defense, http://www.mod.uk/Defencelnternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanBritishFatalities.htm; Australia's Department of Defence, http://www.defence.gov.au/op/afghanistan/info/personnel.htm; "Factbox: Military Deaths in Afghanistan," Reuters News, July 27, 2010.

Table 4. Afghan Casualties

Group Period # of Casualties Note
Afghan Civilians January 1, 2010-
June30, 2010
1,271 killed

 

1,997 injureda

The number of killed includes 120 women and 176 children.

76% of civilian deaths and injuries were caused by anti-Government elements, which includes the Taliban as well as other individuals or groups who engage in armed conflict with the Government of Afghanistan or members of the International Military Forces.
2009 2,412 killed

 

3,566 injuredb

67% of civilian deaths were attributed to actions of anti-Government elements (78% of these deaths were caused by improvised explosive devices and suicide attacks).

 

25% of civilian deaths were attributed to pro-Government forces.

8% of civilian deaths were the result of cross-fire or improperly detonated ordnance.

2008 2,1118c  
2007 1,523c  

--2--

Group Period # of Casualties Note
Afghan National Army January 1-June 30, 2010 214d  
2009

 

292e  
2007-2008

 

537f  
Afghan National Police January 1 -June 30, 2010

 

289g  
2009

 

639h  
2007-2008

 

1,412  

Sources: Compiled by the Congressional Research Service from noted sources.

  1. United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, Human Rights Unit, Afghanistan: Mid-Year Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, 2010, August 10, 2010, p. i, http://unama.unmissions.org/Portals/UNAMA/Documents/10August2010_Mid%20Year%20Report%202010%20Protection%20of%20Civilians%20in%20Armed%20Confl ict_English.pdf.

  2. United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, Human Rights Unit, Afghanistan: Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, 2009, January 2010, p. I, http://unama.unmissions.org/Portals/UNAMA/human%20rights/Protection%20of%20Civilian%202009%20report%20English.pdf.

  3. United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, Human Rights Unit, Afghanistan: Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, 2008, January 2009, p. 12, http://unama.unmissions.org/Portals/UNAMA/human%20rights/UNAMA_09february-Annual%20Report_PoC%202008_FINAL_l IFeb09.pdf.

  4. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, April 30, 2010, p. 58, http://vwvw.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/Apr20IO/SIGARapril_Lores.pdf and response via e-mail from the staff of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, August 9, 2010.

  5. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, July 30, 2009, p. 55.http://vwwv.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/Jul09/pdf/Report__July_2009.pdf; Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, October 30, 2009, p. 62, http://vwwv.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/Oct09/pdf/SIGAROct2009Web.pdf; and Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, January 30, 2010, p. 64, http://vwwv.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/jan20IO/pdf/SIGARJan20IO.pdf.

  6. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, July 30, 2009, p. 55, http://vwwv.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/Jul09/pdf/Report_-July_2009.pdf.

  7. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, April 30, 2010, p. 64, http://vvww.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/Apr20IO/SIGARapril_Lores.pdf and response via e-mail from the staff of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, August 9, 2010.

  8. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, July 30, 2009, p. 60, http://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/Jul09/pdf/Report_-July_2009.pdf; Quarterly Report to the United States Congress,October 30, 2009, p. 66, http://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/Oct09/pdf/SIGAROct2009Web.pdf; and Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, January 30, 2010, p. 69, http://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/jan20IO/pdf/SIGARJan20IO.pdf.

  9. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, July 30, 2009, p. 60, http://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/Jul09/pdf/Report_-July_2009.pdf.

[END]

Published:Tue Dec 22 11:59:32 EST 2015