In this Sept. 13, 2010 photo, U.S. Capt. Dan Luckett, 27, of Norcross, Ga., cleans his gun at Combat Outpost Ashoqeh in Afghanistan's Kandahar province. Luckett lost his left leg and part of his right foot in a bomb blast in Iraq in 2008. The Pentagon says 41 American amputee veterans are now serving in combat zones worldwide. (AP Photo/Todd Pitman
(CNSNews.com) - September 2010 has been the deadliest September yet for U.S. troops in the 9-year-long war in Afghanistan as U.S. troops continued to be killed at a pace of slightly higher than one a day during the Obama presidency.
U.S. troops thus far have suffered 38 total casualties in September, with all but two of those being combat-related. Before now, September 2009 had been the deadliest September of the war with the U.S. suffering 37 total casualties in that month, 35 of which were combat related.
Since the beginning of the war in October 2001, 1,206 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan, according to CNSNews.com database of Afghanistan war casualties. 1,041 of those deaths have been combated-related.
2010 is already the deadliest year of the Afghan war for U.S. forces. So far, 354 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan this year compared to 303 in 2009, which was the second deadliest year of the war.
A total of 650 U.S. troops troops have been killed in Afghanistan since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2010. During his presidential campaign, he vowed to shift the focus of U.S. military efforts overseas from Iraq to Afghanistan.
The 650 U.S. casualties in Afghanistan since Obama’s inauguration equal almost 54 percent of all U.S. casualties for the entire duration of the war. Given that Obama has been president for 618 days, U.S. troops have been dying in Afghanistan at a rate of more than one a day since he took over as commander in chief.
A majority of the U.S. casualties this year have been concentrated in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, with 130 casualties (or 37 percent of the year’s total) taking place in Helmand, and 72 casualties (or 20 percent of the year’s total) taking place in Kandahar.
Among the casualties this month were two female American soldiers. In the course of the war, 17 female U.S. troops have been killed in Afganistan.
CNSNews.com’s database of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan is based primarily on official Department of Defense casualty reports, but also includes information gleaned from the news media.
The database includes all U.S. military personnel who died or received fatal wounds in Afghanistan. It does not include U.S. soldiers who died or received fatal wounds outside of that country while supporting military efforts against terrorism under Operation Enduring Freedom, which includes U.S. activities in multiple countries.
Non-combat casualties include soldiers who have drowned or died from vehicle or other accidents.
The Afghanistan summer months (June to September) have historically been the deadliest for U.S. forces operating in that country.