Afghanistan Death Toll
The NYT has a feature story highlighting the increased death toll in Afghanistan under the headline “500: Deadly U.S. Milestone in Afghan War.”
Oddly, however, that milestone passed some time back and we’re well past it now.
June was the second deadliest month for the military in Afghanistan since the war began, with 23 American deaths from hostilities, compared with 22 in Iraq. July was less deadly, with 20 deaths, compared with six in Iraq. On July 22, nearly seven years after the conflict began on Oct. 7, 2001, the United States lost its 500th soldier in the Afghanistan war.
(The Pentagon says that 563 American service members have died in Operation Enduring Freedom, the umbrella term for the global American-led antiterror campaign that has the Afghanistan war at its center and includes deployments in the Philippines and Africa. Of those deaths, according to an analysis by The New York Times, 510 have occurred in Afghanistan or are directly linked to the war there.)
The piece is generally rambling and incoherent, starting off with an overlong and unrepresentative anecdote. Still, if you force yourself to get through it, you come away with a sense of how the nature of the conflict has evolved, mostly out of the media spotlight, over these nearly seven years. The number and nature of American fatalities has changed dramatically over that time.
This chart (extracted from a gigantic one at the link) provides a good visualization:
The choice of Friedman Units for the breakdown is unexplained.