(CNSNews.com) – Sixty-nine percent of the U.S. casualties in the decade-long Afghan War--1,241 out of 1,810--have occurred since President Barack Obama was inaugurated and decided to escalate U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, according to CNSNews.com’s database on war deaths.
Since the beginning of this year, 7 U.S. troops have been killed by the Afghan forces they are seeking to help.
The Afghan War began on Oct. 7, 2001, when George W. Bush was president. During Bush’s eight years in office, 569 U.S. military personnel were killed in Afghanistan. Since Bush left, another 1,241 have been killed.
In March, 17 U.S. military personnel were killed in Afghanistan.
So far this year, 53 Americans have been killed while serving in that country.
From 2010 to 2011, the number of U.S. casualties did go down by about 20 percent, marking the first time in four years that deaths decreased from one year to another.
But Obama's three years as commander in chief have been the three deadliest years of the Afghan War: 2010 (497 deaths) was the worst, then 2011 (399 deaths) and then 2009 (303 deaths). Of the 303 deaths in 2009, 292 took place after Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20 of that year.
Of the 53 U.S. casualties so far this year, an estimated 7 were what the military describes as “green on blue” or “insider” attacks--meaning they were perpetrated by Afghan forces on U.S. personnel.
On March 22, U.S. Gen. John Allen, the top commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan told Congress that six of the 52 “green on blue” deaths since 2007--when the Pentagon began keeping track of this type of casualty--have taken place this year alone.
The Associated Press reported on March 16, however, that the Pentagon had not revealed the treachery behind a seventh soldier being killed by Afghan forces in February 2012--bringing the total number of “insider” deaths this year to seven and those since 2007 to 53.
Gen. Allen did not break down the full number of “insider” deaths by year or month. He did note, however, that “insider” attacks have not “tapered off.”
Historically, the majority of deaths (about 90 percent) in the Afghanistan war have been combat-related. The remaining non-combat deaths are those that have occurred as a result of accidents, illnesses, drowning, or other non-combat incidents.
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), also known as homemade bombs, have been the number one killer of U.S. forces, causing more than 50 percent of all American deaths.
CNSNews.com’s detailed count of U.S. military fatalities in Afghanistan is primarily derived from official casualty reports issued by the Department of Defense (DOD), augmented by information taken from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force-Afghanistan and media accounts.
The database includes all U.S. troops that died or were fatally injured in and around Afghanistan while supporting military efforts in Operation Enduring Freedom, which covers multiple countries.
CNSNews.com’s total count of U.S. fatalities in and around Afghanistan includes 12 U.S. troops who died in Pakistan and three who died in the Arabian Sea while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. The total death count of 1,810 as of the end of March 2012 could be slightly revised in the coming days, given the lag time in DOD’s reporting. DOD does not always reveal whether a military death is caused by “insider” attacks, which makes it difficult to fully track those fatalities.