Attrition: Britain Bleeds The Most In Afghanistan

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October 6, 2011: In ten years of combat in Afghanistan, some 2,700 foreign troops have died. Most (67 percent) were American. The next two nations in terms of combat losses were Britain (14.1 percent) and Canada (5.8 percent). Adjusted for population size, Britain suffered five percent more combat deaths than the United States. On the same basis, Canada suffered about 80 percent as many deaths as the United States.

All three of these nations had their troops in the south (Kandahar and Helmand provinces, where most of the heroin came from) or along the southeast border (mainly Pakistan's North Waziristan area, long a sanctuary for Islamic terror groups). There were a few other NATO nations, plus Australia, that had small contingents in the south, but most NATO nations put their troops in the more peaceful north, with orders to stay out of trouble and avoid casualties.

In the south, the group that took the most casualties was the Taliban and other Islamic radical groups. The U.S. and NATO kept no official (that is, published) statistics on this. But anecdotal reports from NATO combat units indicate that the Taliban suffered at least ten dead for every foreign soldier killed.

 


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