UPDATED: 29/9/11 – Despite a UN report released today reporting higher violence than ever in Afghanistan – the latest figures show fatalities trending massively down for US and UK troops in Afghanistan. The number of US servicemen and women killed is significantly down despite the unusual loss of so many SEALS in a helicopter crash. Details see amended graphs here:

At NATO’s HQ in Kabul it was confidently predicted that 2011 would be the most violent yet of the war in Afghanistan. But one thing missing from the debate over Obama’s drawdown – as far as I’ve noticed – is the fact that casualties seem to be levelling off for foreign troops, at least. As the charts below (compiled from data from the http://icasualties.org/oef/ website) show, UK deaths in Afghanistan have dropped sharply as UK troops have ceded the most dangerous territory of the upper Sangin valley, Musa Qala and Now Zad to the Marines in Helmand. But even for US troops, despite taking on more dangerous areas, the number killed appears to be levelling off, even as the surge reaches its highest intensity of operations. Is this a sign of progress or a result of no major offensives and more consolidation in the last six months?



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