Under Obama, U.S. Casualty Rate in Afghanistan Increased 5-Fold

By Edwin Mora | June 22, 2011 | 4:59pm EDT

In this picture taken Tuesday, May 10, 2011, United States Marines run through dust kicked up by a Blackhawk helicopter from Task Force Lift "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment as they rush a colleague wounded in an IED strike for evacuation near Sangin, in the volatile Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

(CNSNews.com) - The average monthly casualty rate for U.S. military forces serving in Afghanistan has increased 5-fold since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009.

1,540 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since Oct. 7, 2001, when U.S. forces began fighting in that country to oust the Taliban regime that had been harboring al Qaeda and to track down and capture or kill al Qaeda terrorists.

During the Bush presidency, which ended on Jan. 20, 2009 with the inauguration of President Obama, U.S. troops were present in Afghanistan for 87.4 months and suffered 570 casualties—a rate of 6.5 deaths per month.

During the Obama presidency, through today, U.S. troops have been present in Afghanistan for 29.1 months and have suffered 970 casualties—a rate of 33.3 deaths per month.

This evening President Obama is expected to announce the scope of U.S. troop withdrawals set to begin next month.

Of the 1,540 U.S. casualties in Afghanistan, according to CNSNews.com’s database of all casualties in the war, 1,340 have resulted from enemy action and the other 200 have resulted from non-combat accidents, illnesses and other non-combat causes.

The 970 U.S. casualties that have occurred while President Obama has been commander in chief equal 63 percent--or almost two-thirds—of all U.S. casualties that have taken place in the nearly-ten-year-long war.

889 of the 970 U.S. casualties in Afghanistan that have occurred during the Obama presidency—or about 92 percent—have been combat-related casualties.

During Obama’s presidency, U.S. troops have given their lives in the service of their country in Afghanistan at an average rate of more than one per day.

CNSNews.com’s database of U.S. military fatalities in Afghanistan is derived from official casualty reports issued by the Department of Defense (DOD) augmented by information taken from media accounts.

The database includes all U.S. troops who died in and around Afghanistan while supporting military efforts against terrorism under Operation Enduring Freedom. It also includes some Americans who died in Pakistan and others who died in the Arabian Sea while supporting operations in Afghanistan.

In December 2009, President Obama announced that he was increasing the U.S. presence in Afghanistan by 30,000 troops. Currently, the U.S. has a force of 100,000 in the country. Tonight, the president is expected to outline his plan for beginning the withdrawal of some of those forces.

U.S. military officials have indicated that despite the expected reduction in forces, the U.S. will maintain a military presence in Afganistan beyond 2014. Gen. David Petraeus, the top-commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan has also told Congress that he would be open to maintaining a jointly-operated military base in Afghanistan.


This is a list of the U.S. military personnel who have given their lives serving their country in Afghanistan since Memorial Day, which was May 30. The list includes the hero's name, age, hometown and date of death as reported by the Department of Defense.

--Spc. Richard C. Emmons III, 22, North Grandby, Conn., May 31, 2011

--Sgt. Jeffrey C. S. Sherer, 29, Four Oaks, N.C., June 2, 2011

--Sgt. Christopher R. Bell, 21, Golden, Miss., June 4, 2011

--Sgt. Joshua D. Powell, 28, Quitman, Texas, June 4, 2011

--Spc. Devin A. Snyder, 20, Cohocton, N.Y., June 4, 2011

--Spc. Robert L. Voakes Jr., 21, L’Anse, Mich., June 4, 2011

--Chief Warrant Officer Kenneth R. White, 35, Fort Collins, Colo., June 5, 2011

--Chief Warrant Officer Bradley J. Gaudet, 31, Gladewater, Texas June 5, 2011

--Sgt. Joseph M. Garrison, 27, New Bethlehem, Pa., June 6, 2011

--Cpl. William J. Woitowicz, 23, Middlesex, Mass., June 7, 2011

--Lance Cpl. Nicholas S. O’Brien, 21, Stanley, N.C., June 9, 2011

--Cpl. Matthew T. Richard, 21, Acadia, La., June 9, 2011

--Capt. Michael W. Newton, 30, Newport News, Va., June 11, 2011

--Lance Cpl. Jason D. Hill, 20, Poway, Calif., June 11, 2011

--Lance Cpl. Sean M. N. O’Connor, 22, Douglas, Wyo., June 12, 2011

--Lance Cpl. Joshua B. McDaniels, 21, Dublin, Ohio, June 12, 2011

--Pfc. Eric D. Soufrine, 20, Woodbridge, Conn., June 14, 2011

--Staff Sgt. Jeremy A. Katzenberger, 26, Weatherby Lake, Mo., June 14, 2011

--Pvt. Ryan J. Larson, 19, Friendship, Wis., June 15, 2011

--Sgt. Mark A. Bradley, 25, Cuba, N.Y., June 16, 2011

--Spc. Scott D. Smith, 36, Indianapolis, Ind., June 17, 2011

--Pfc. Brian J. Backus, 21, Saginaw Township, Mich., June 18, 2011

-- Sgt. 1st Class Alvin A. Boatwright, 33, Lodge, S.C., June 18, 2011

--Sgt. Edward F. Dixon III, 37, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., June 18, 2011

--Staff Sgt. Alan L. Snyder, 28, Blackstone, Mass., June 18, 2011

--Spc. Tyler R. Kreinz, 21, Beloit, Wis., June 18, 2011

--Pfc. Josue Ibarra, 21, Midland, Texas, June 19, 2011

--Sgt. James W. Harvey II, 23, Toms River, N.J., June 20, 2011

--Pfc. Gustavo A. Rios-Ordonez, 25, Englewood, Ohio, June 20, 2011

--Lance Cpl. Jared C. Verbeek, 22, Visalia, Calif, June 21. 2011

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