November 2010 Was Deadliest November for U.S. Forces In 9-Year Afghan War

December 1, 2010 - 3:08 PM


afghanistan war

U.S. Marines in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/John Moore, File)

(CNSNews.com) -- At least 45 U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan last month--more than two-and-a-half times the 17 U.S. casualties in Afghanistan in November 2009--making November 2010 the deadliest November since the war began more than nine years ago, according to CNSNews.com’s database of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan.

So far this year, 452 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan. That is more than was killed in any previous year of the war, and approximately 35 percent of all U.S. casualties since the war started. There have now been 1,304 total U.S. casualties in Afghanistan since October 2001.

At least 744 (or 57 percent) of all the American military fatalities in Afghanistan have occurred since President Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009.

Of the 452 total U.S. casualties in Afghanistan this year, 432 combat-related. Of the 1,304 total U.S. casualties since the beginning of the war in 2001, 1,148 have been combat-related. (Non-combat-related fatalities include soldiers who have drowned or died from vehicle or other accidents.)

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs), also known as homemade bombs, continue to be the number one killer of U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Historically, most of the fighting in Afghanistan takes place during the summer months of June to September. However, this year, October and November have been some of the deadliest months.

The southern Afghan provinces of Kandahar and Helmand where coalition forces are focusing their military efforts continue to be the deadliest regions for American troops and their allies.

Taking hold of Kandahar and Helmand, two Taliban strongholds that border Pakistan, are considered key strategic aims of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. 

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama at a White House press conference on Nov. 3, 2010, the day after the midterm election. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

CNSNews.com’s tally of U.S. military fatalities in Afghanistan is derived primarily from U.S. Defense Department press releases, but it also includes information gleaned from news reports.
 
The count includes all U.S. military personnel who died or received fatal wounds in Afghanistan. It does not include U.S. soldiers who died outside of that country while supporting military efforts against terrorism under Operation Enduring Freedom, which includes multiple countries.

The top five deadliest months of the war, accounting for both combat and non-combat deaths, have taken place during Obama's term. Those five months were:
 
1. July 2010 (65 deaths)
2. June 2010 (60 deaths)
3. October 2009 (58 deaths)
4. August 2010 (55 deaths)
5. August 2009 (51 deaths)

Last December, Obama said that, depending on the conditions on the ground, U.S. troops would begin withdrawing from Afghanistan in July 2011, which is eight months away.