The War in Afghanistan is claimed to be one the most expensive conflicts in history of United States. The war refers to intervention by NATO and its allied forces in Afghanistan following the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, 2011. The conflict was launched to put apart the al-Qaeda terrorist organizations and to dethrone the Taliban government, which controlled al-Qaeda and about 90 percent of Afghanistan. The US forces wanted Osama bin Laden and wanted the al-Qaeda network expelled. But, when the Taliban refused, one of the fiercest wars were fought that lead to massive expenditure. The attack that was launched on 7 October 2001 took thousands of lives in its wake apart from the huge sums of money spent on it. Here we have listed below 5 heart breaking facts about war in Afghanistan.
In June 2011, President Barak Obama in his address to the nation announced the plan to begin withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. But nowhere in his speed did Obama mention a deadline for the full withdrawal of the troops from Afghanistan. He did mention that 10,000 US troops will be removed by summer, and another 23,000 by the end of 2011. It was reported that on 15 November in 2012, Afghanistan and United States began negotiations for bilateral security agreement in order to administer US troops’ presence in Afghanistan after 2014. This would include how many personal will remain in Afghanistan and for how long.
Since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001, the number of causalities and injuries only increased every year. While the number of causalities (fateful) is easy to calculate, it is difficult to estimate the precise number of the wounded. There are many types of injuries. Injuries can range from light to serious. Sometimes injuries can heal on their own, while at other times, family members have to get patients to the hospitals for treatment. There are also troops who need to be evacuated by air from the war zone, which range from serious wounds to regular illnesses. Keeping in mind the difficulty of forming a statistics, a report by US Defense Department informs that about 20,000 US serving in Afghanistan were wounded on duty.
Thousands of troops have lost their lives fighting in Afghanistan. One of the saddest parts of all the conflict is that many troops killed were between the ages of 19 to 29. This is confirmed by a CNN analysis. According to the analysis, 21 year olds – 244 killed in number, are the maximum that have died in one age group.
Like many other wars, the war in Afghanistan isn’t all clean. Throughout the war, war crimes have been committed on both sides. Some of them include massacres of civilians, terrorism, torture and murder of prisoners of war and bombing and killing of masses. Destruction of property and theft are other common war crimes. These crimes and killings in the past twelve years have unsettled the lives of people in Afghanistan drastically.
Since the war has begun, the number of casualties has only risen with every passing year. Most coalition troops lost their lives in 2008 and 2009 i.e. 296 and 517 respectively. Highest casualties however took place in 2010 – 711 troops lost their lives. According to a CNN report, over 2,700 troops of United States and its coalition partners lost their lives in the last 12 years of war in Afghanistan. Troops from almost 26 countries have lost their lives in the never ending war. This number also includes at least 1,780 servicemen and women of United States. According to a report from CNN, roadside bombs have claimed over 1,150 lives. IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) and roadside bombs are the leading cause for casualties in the war. Small fire arms, like guns etc., have claimed lives of about 365 troops and over 232 personal have lost their because of helicopter crashes. Afghanistan’s southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, have been the most blood thirsty war zones. The provinces that are the birthplace of Taliban have been the fiercest opposition to US and coalition forces.