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Afghanistan casualties: military forces and civilians.

February 26, 2010

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.com and 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 civilian casualties, respectively.

Author Contact Information

Susan G. Chesser

Information Research Specialist

schesser@crs.loc.gov, 7-9547
Table 1. Operation Enduring Freedom, U.S. Fatalities and Wounded
as of February 19, 2010, 10 a.m. EST from October 7, 2001

                  Fatalities In     Fatalities in
                   and Around         Other         Total
                  Afghanistan (a)   Locations (b)   Fatalities

Hostile (c)            703              8            711

Non-Hostile (d)        204             68            272

Total                  907             76            983

                        Wounded in Action

Hostile (c)       Returned to Duty       2,128
                  within 72 Hours

Non-Hostile (d)   Not Returned to Duty   2,876
                  within 72 Hours

Total             Total                  5,004

Source: http://www.defense.gov/news/casualty.pdf

(a.) "Fatalities in and around Afghanistan" include casualties that
occurred in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan.

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

(c.) 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/ I00.2/ADA43918.

(d.) 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. Deaths of Coalition Partners in Afghanistan

Country                               # of Deaths

Australia                                 11
Belgium                                    1
Canada                                   140
Czech Republic                             3
Denmark                                   29
Estonia                                    7
Finland                                    1
France                                    40
Germany                                   31
Hungary                                    2
Italy                                     22
Latvia                                     3
Lithuania                                  1
Netherlands                               21
Norway                                     5
Poland                                    16
Portugal                                   2
Romania                                   11
South Korea                                1
Spain                                     28
Sweden                                     4
Turkey                                     2
United Kingdom                           263
--                                        --

Total Non-U.S. Coalition Fatalities       644

Source: CNN U.S.and Coalition Casualties, http://www.cnn.
com/SPECIALS/2004/oef.casualties/2010.02.html as viewed on February
19, 2010, 4:40 p.m., EST.

Table 3. Afghan Casualties

  Group          Period         # of Deaths             Note

Afghan      2009                2,412 killed   67% of civilian deaths
Civilians                                      were attributed to
                                   3,566       actions of
                                injured (a)    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                 2,118 (b)

            2007                 1,523 (c)

Afghan      January-September     227 (d)
National    20, 2009
Army
            2007-2008             537 (e)

Afghan      January-September     536 (f)
National    20, 2009
Police
            2007-2008            1,412 (g)

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

(a.) United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, Human Rights
Unit, Afghanistan: Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed
Conflict, 2009, January 2010, p. 1,
http://unama.unmissions.org/Portals/UNAMA/human%20rights/
Protection%20of%20Civilian%202009%20report%20English.pdf.

(b.) 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_11Feb09.pdf.

(c.) United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, Afghanistan:
Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, 2008,
Human Rights Unit, January 2009, p. 12,
http://unama.unmissions.org/Portals/UNAMA/human%20rights/
UNAMA_09february-Annual%20Report_PoC%202008_FINAL_11Feb09.pdf.

(d.) Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction,
Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, July 30, 2009, p.55.
http://www.sigar.
mil/reports/quarterlyreports/Jul09/pdf/Report_-_July_2009.pdf; and
Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, October 30, 2009, p.
62, http://www.sigar.mil/reports/
quarterlyreports/Oct09/pdf/SIGAROct2009Web.pdf

(e.) Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction,
Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, July 30, 2009, p.55,
http://www.sigar.
mil/reports/quarterlyreports/Jul09/pdf/Report_-_July_2009.pdf

(f.) Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction,
Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, July 30, 2009, p.60,
http://www.sigar.
mil/reports/quarterlyreports/Jul09/pdf/Report_-_July_2009.pdf; and
Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, October 30, 2009, p.
66, http://www.sigar.mil/reports/
quarterlyreports/Oct09/pdf/SIGAROct2009Web.pdf.

(g.) Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction,
Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, July 30, 2009, p.60,
http://www.sigar.
mil/reports/quarterlyreports/Jul09/pdf/Report_-_July_2009.pdf.
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Title Annotation:Congressional Research Service
Author:Chesser, Susan G.
Publication:Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports and Issue Briefs
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Feb 1, 2010
Words:1105
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