1,080 More Americans Could Die on Obama's Watch in Afghanistan

10/17/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Highest-Ever Monthly Total of 49 Americans Killed in Afghanistan in August: American Death Rate Under Obama Could Exceed 1,000 by 2011

August was the cruelest month for American forces in Afghanistan, with at least 49 killed, not including possible last-minute reports. The August numbers exceeded the previous high of 43 in July, as a result of the new escalation of fighting approved by President Obama.

The President is expected to approve another troop increase shortly, which will inevitably increase American casualty rates in the 18-24 months of "hard fighting" forecast by the Pentagon.

At a rate of 45 American deaths per month, the toll on Obama's watch would be 1,080 additional American deaths through 2011, as the President heads into a re-election.

The total number of American deaths in Afghanistan since the beginning of the war is approximately 800. The number officially listed as wounded in action is 3,722, with 2,314 never redeployed to the war zone. www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

The numbers are understated by, for example, excluding hundreds of private contractors, many of them American citizens, killed in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Others killed during special operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan may not be included either.

Deaths among US-dominated Coalition forces overall now total 1,293, including 210 from the UK and 126 from Canada.

The real number of Afghanistan civilian casualties is obscured in the fog of war, but has risen to a record high as the US has escalated its forces this year, with the UN Aid Mission figures growing from 684 in the first six months of 2007, to 818 in the first six months of 2008, to 1,013 in January-June this year. The July UNAM bulletin's appendix noted that "there is a significant possibility that UNAMA is under-reporting civilian casualties." [p. 16] Because the Pentagon frequently casts doubt on whether Afghan victims are truly civilian, the frequent result is, as UNAM notes, "if the non-combatant status of one or more victims remains under significant doubt, such deaths are not included in the overall number of civilian casualties."