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Foreign military deaths in Afghan war exceed 2,000

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  • Foreign military deaths in Afghan war exceed 2,000

    By unofficial tallies* the total number of foreign military personnel killed in the war in Afghanistan reached 2,0002, including 1,226 Americans and 331 British. This is still les than half the total foreign military deaths suffered in Iraq, but with the official end of combat operations coming up the end of this month, the focus of attention strategic and political — will continue to shift to Afghanistan.

    At the same time, it is worth noting that 1,271 Afghan civilians* have been killed in the first six months of 2010 alone, according to the United Nations. 76 per cent of those deaths were caused by the Taliban, 12 per cent by pre-government forces, a dramatic drop from last year, when 30 per cent of the total was caused by pro-government forces. The sharp reduction in civilian deaths caused by pro-government (mostly NATO) forces was largely due to a 64 per reduction in deaths caused by air strikes due to tighter rules of engagement.

    In-coming commander General David Petraeus has “nuanced” the rules of engagement of his predecessor, General Stanley McChrystal. As the new rules of engagement are classified, it’s impossible to know what changes have been made and in any case it is impossible to predict what exact effect they will have on troop security and civilian casualties.


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