Attrition: The War On IEDs

Archives

July 14, 2010: Last month, the 140,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan suffered 102 combat deaths. At an annual rate, that's 874 dead per 100,000 troops per year. But combat deaths tend to peak during the Summer months. Thus the rate for all year will be closer to 500-600. NATO troops, and particularly the United States, are making a major effort to detect IEDs (improvised explosive devices, or roadside bombs), which have accounted for up to 60 percent of deaths among foreign troops. About $1.5 billion worth of special equipment is arriving in Afghanistan this year, doubling the amount of specialized gear used for detecting IEDs, and identifying the personnel making, placing and setting off the bombs. Another thousand specialists are arriving to operate the special detection and intelligence programs.

As a result, the proportion of combat deaths caused by IEDs has already declined this year, from 60 percent of all deaths, to closer to 50 percent. The anti-IED effort is expected to continue reducing the deaths from bombs. The number of foreign troops killed in Afghanistan has been going up because there are more foreign troops in Afghanistan, and more of them are out looking for Taliban gunmen and drug gang operations. Both these endeavors often lead to gun battles.

In 2007-8, foreign troops in Afghanistan lost about 300-400 dead per 100,000 troops. That went up to nearly 500 last year. In Iraq, from 2004-7, the deaths among foreign troops ran at 500-600 per 100,000 per year. Since al Qaeda admitted defeat there two years ago, the U.S. death rate in Iraq has dropped to less than 200 dead per 100,000 troops per year. During World War II, Korea and Vietnam, American troops suffered losses at the rate of about 1,500 killed per 100,000 troops per year.

 

 


Article Archive

Attrition: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close