Small Wars Journal

The Death Toll for Afghan Forces Is Secret. Here’s Why.

The Death Toll for Afghan Forces Is Secret. Here’s Why. By Rod Nordland – New York Times

Taliban insurgents killed so many Afghan security forces in 2016, an average of 22 a day, that by the following year the Afghan and American governments decided to keep battlefield death tolls secret.

It’s much worse now. The daily fatalities among Afghan soldiers and policemen were more than double that last week: roughly 57 a day.

Seventeen years after the United States went to war in Afghanistan, the Taliban is gaining momentum, seizing territory, and killing Afghan security forces in record numbers.

Last week was especially bad, with more than 400 killed, according to an account by diplomats. But even the average numbers in recent months — from 30 to 40 a day, according to senior Afghan officials — represent a substantial upswing from two years ago and appear unsustainable in a country that has been shattered by decades of war…

Read on.