From the AfPak Channel at Foreign Policy magazine, some numbers on casualties in Afghanistan and links to a further 3 reports on the Afghan war. It all makes for sobering reading at the start of 2011, combined with what is looking like the collapse of the Pakistani government and the tentative position of the Afghan government this could end up being another interesting year in the region.
More than 700 international troops were killed in Afghanistan in 2010, 498 of them Americans (LAT, Pajhwok).
Nearly 1,300 Afghan policemen were killed last year, a decrease of
seven percent over 2009, and civilian casualties went up 20 percent in
the first ten months of 2010 over the same period in 2009 (Reuters, Tolo, Pajhwok, Post).
On Christmas, top U.S. and NATO commander Gen. David Petraeus visited
troops in Kabul, Kunduz, Farah, and Helmand, where the Journal reports
that British troops are gaining confidence in Afghan security forces,
often seen as feckless (AP, WSJ).
Pajhwok reports that Taliban fighters, Afghan officials, and
international forces have agreed on a cease-fire in Sangin district in
And Afghan ethnic minorities express frustration with their
under-representation at the officer ranks, which are dominated by
Pashtuns and Tajiks, in Afghanistan's security forces (AFP).
TheRead more at afpak.foreignpolicy.com
Post has three reports on the Afghan war: one profiling the U.S.
military hospital in Kandahar, which treats soldiers, civilians, and
insurgents alike (Post);
a second noting that the U.S. Army's official history of the battle of
Wanat -- a July 2008 clash in Kunar that sparked four investigations --
"largely absolves top commanders of the deaths of nine U.S. soldiers and
instead blames the confusing and unpredictable nature of war" (Post);
and a third looking at the U.S. presence in the Pech Valley, where the
focus is on fighting such that "Afghan officials can figure out a way to
coexist with a committed and ideological resistance" (Post).