The average monthly casualty rate for U.S. military forces serving in Afghanistan has increased 5-fold since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009.
1,540 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since Oct. 7,2001, when U.S. forces began action in that country to oust the Taliban regime that had been harboring al Qaeda and to track down and capture or kill al Qaeda terrorists.
During the Bush presidency, which ended on Jan. 20, 2009 with the inauguration of President Obama, U.S. troops were present in Afghanistan for 87.4 months and suffered 570 casualties – a rate of 6.5 deaths per month.
During the Obama presidency, through today, U.S. troops have been present in Afghanistan for 29.1 months and have suffered 970 casualties – a rate of 33.3 deaths per month.
This evening President Obama is expected to announce the scope of U.S. troop withdrawals set to begin next month.
Of the 1,540 U.S. casualties in Afghanistan, according to CNSNews.com’s database of all casualties in the war, 1,340 have resulted from enemy action and the other 200 have resulted from non-combat accidents, illnesses and other non-combat causes.
The 970 U.S. casualties that have occurred while President Obama has been commander in chief equal 63 percent – or almost two-thirds – of all U.S. casualties that have taken place in the nearly-ten-year-long war.
889 of the 970 U.S. casualties in Afghanistan that have occurred during the Obama presidency – or about 92 percent – have been combat-related casualties.
During Obama’s presidency, U.S. troops have given their lives in the service of their country in Afghanistan at an average rate of more than one per day.
CNSNews.com’s database of U.S. military fatalities in Afghanistan is derived from official casualty reports issued by the Department of Defense (DOD) augmented by information taken from media accounts.
The database includes all U.S. troops who died in and around Afghanistan while supporting military efforts against terrorism under Operation Enduring Freedom. It also includes some Americans who died in Pakistan and others who died in the Arabian Sea while supporting operations in Afghanistan.
In December 2009, President Obama announced that he was increasing the U.S. presence in Afghanistan by 30,000 troops. Currently, the U.S. has a force of 100,000 in the country. Tonight, the president is expected to outline his plan for beginning the withdrawal of some of those forces.
U.S. military officials have indicated that despite the expected reduction in forces, the U.S. will maintain a military presence in Afganistan beyond 2014. Gen. David Petraeus, the top-commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan has also told Congress that he would be open to maintaining a jointly-operated military base in Afghanistan.