Friday, June 01, 2007

The May Numbers

The shoot-down of the Chinook helicopter in Helmand province in Afghanistan added seven coalition fatalities to this year’s total, bringing the number to 95. By nationality, the losses were five U.S., one Canadian and one Brit. At the current rate of fatalities, U.S. losses for the year will be slightly under the 98 killed in 2006. Total killed in Afghanistan since October 7, 2001 are 395 U.S. and 196 coalition troops. Of the latter, 58 are from Britain and 56 are Canadians. U.S. wounded through March 2007 total 1,121.

Troops committed to Operation Enduring Freedom under NATO command total 33,000 (International Security Assistance Force or ISAF) and are in all provinces. Afghanistan also hosts 25 Provincial Reconstruction Teams (12 run by the U.S.) but not all positions on all teams are filled – some lack up to 60 percent of their personnel. Separately, the U.S. maintains an additional 11,000 troops in Afghanistan.

When May started, U.S. dead in Iraq totaled 3,351. I estimated that the next milestone of 3,500 would be reached in very late June and would be almost the shortest interval – about 6 months – in which 500 deaths were recorded. With 124 deaths in May, 83 percent of the deaths that would mark this sad milestone have already happened. And if May is replicated, the remaining 25 deaths will be added before the end of the first week in June.

Total fatalities among the coalition troops in Iraq stand at 276. Iraqi fatalities are said to be 1,932 for May. U.S. wounded total 25,549 since the war in Iraq began.


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