Afghan casualty rate at WW2 level

The war in Afghanistan is ...

  • a war agaings terrorism

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • a war that stimulates terrorism

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • simply a stupid needless war

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • just one of many American wars in the ME and central Asia

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • a noble struggle for democracy and better future of the Afghans

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
#1
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...AVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/07/16/ntroops116.xml

The rate at which British soldiers are being seriously injured or killed on the front line in Afghanistan is about to pass that suffered by our troops during the Second World War.

The casualty rate in the most dangerous regions of the country is approaching 10 per cent. Senior officers fear it will ultimately pass the 11 per cent experienced by British soldiers at the height of the conflict 60 years ago.
 
#2
KGB_resident said:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=HBOJRDGXF3VVTQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/07/16/ntroops116.xml

The rate at which British soldiers are being seriously injured or killed on the front line in Afghanistan is about to pass that suffered by our troops during the Second World War.

The casualty rate in the most dangerous regions of the country is approaching 10 per cent. Senior officers fear it will ultimately pass the 11 per cent experienced by British soldiers at the height of the conflict 60 years ago.
Without denegrating the efforts and casualties we are experiencing, " there are lies, damned lies and statistics". I would suggest this is a bit of cloak trailing in an attempt to assess UK public opinion and, if there is sufficient groundswell, to harness it. Given the general apathy of the civilian population of the UK to anything it's military does, I will not be holding my breath.
 
#3
Not really, this is extremely serious. You can bet that MoD planners did not factor in this casualty rate into their manpower projections. Before long the rate of injuries being sustained will have a detrimentalt effect on UK Forces to fulfill commitments. Yet another stretch in an overstretched organisation. If CDS will empty his head of spin, he might wake up to the reality and stupidity of agreeing to fight a war on 2 fronts.

Inge is briefing the legislators about the danger of failure in Afg. Pity the Chiefs of Staff didn't recognise the dangers of this over-commitment of UK Armed Forces earlier.

Take a broom and sweep them out of their positions, they are discredited with their red rosette wearing attitudes to Govt policy.
 
#4
With due respect to our fighting soldiers in Afghanistan, these figures are be been massaged to prove a point. You have heard of Statistician and professional liars well this is a prime example's this person quotes the figures from WW2 11 million British and Commonwealth Soldiers in the Army with a death of 580.000 killed and 475.000 wounded giving a casualty rate of 11%. Now this total of 11 million covers every one in the Army from clerks, training staff, warehouse men drivers, engineers, doctors, nurses uncle tom cobbley and all. Yet for Iraq and Afghanistan he seem just to be quoting the number of front line soldiers and ignoring the rest. He also suggesting that a number of wounds are not being report well I doubt if scratch and nick is ever reported. there are many times when you can pick up a minor injury on a battlefield that has nothing to do with the conflict and soldiers just pass them off as one of of those silly things that happen and could happen at any time, stick a plaster on it and keep going.
 
#5
If you think about it for a second, the fact that he is quoting front line figures only, then 10% of the frontline has been taken injured 15 months into a minimum 36 month campaign, (more like 25 years), in which the then Defence Secretary hoped a shot would not need to be fired.

Forget the stats, think about the long list of casualties, queuing up in NHS waiting lists with no military hospital to turn to.

A complete and utter fcuk up.

Predicted by half the people here on arrse.
 
#6
Regardless of the statistical comparisons with WW2, a 10% casualty rate for front line troops is quite high surely? What of the assertion that:

With more fighting expected during the summer, officers are bracing themselves for the figure to double in the last three months of their tour, meaning that the battalion could be without an entire combat company.
?

IMHO, Afghanistan is the war we should be focussing on, the true focus of 'The War Against Terror', we should have sorted it out before we even considered invading Iraq.
 
#7
Bat_Crab said:
Regardless of the statistical comparisons with WW2, a 10% casualty rate for front line troops is quite high surely? What of the assertion that:

With more fighting expected during the summer, officers are bracing themselves for the figure to double in the last three months of their tour, meaning that the battalion could be without an entire combat company.
?

IMHO, Afghanistan is the war we should be focussing on, the true focus of 'The War Against Terror', we should have sorted it out before we even considered invading Iraq.
British Empire and Soviet one tried to sort out Afghanistan. British Empire had crumbled and Soviet one crumbled as well. Now American Empire (NATO) tried to sort Afghanistan out. Rather NATO will be crumbled I bet.
 
#8
If it's true, it's very serious. The MOD might call it "nonsense". The Romans called it "decimation".
 
#9
Sergey, I have just finished reading a book about Afg. It touched on the Russian occupation and the generally positive effect it had on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Afghan women who had previously been denied an education and a role in society. When the Russian army went home, Afghan women were sent back to their homes. Modern day Afg is turning its back on a modern role for its women folk. I suspect, the challenge taken on by NATO, if it is to succeed will take 25 years minimum, and will involve re-educating an entire population. Have to say, I understand your doubts entirely.
 
#10
KGB_resident said:
Bat_Crab said:
Regardless of the statistical comparisons with WW2, a 10% casualty rate for front line troops is quite high surely? What of the assertion that:

With more fighting expected during the summer, officers are bracing themselves for the figure to double in the last three months of their tour, meaning that the battalion could be without an entire combat company.
?

IMHO, Afghanistan is the war we should be focussing on, the true focus of 'The War Against Terror', we should have sorted it out before we even considered invading Iraq.
British Empire and Soviet one tried to sort out Afghanistan. British Empire had crumbled and Soviet one crumbled as well. Now American Empire (NATO) tried to sort Afghanistan out. Rather NATO will be crumbled I bet.
Agreed, but without commitment to Iraq and with the backing of NATO we should have the quantity of troops and the expertise to stay in Afg for years and improve the lot of the Afghan people.
 
#11
Losing best part of a rifle company worth of bayonets from a battalion over a six month tour is a big deal. Comparing to WW2 or Korea not too helpful and agree there is some spin at work here. To compare 1 Royal Anglians loses over 3 months to 1 Suffolks casualty rate in the first 3 months in Normandy and its a totally different picture. Compare it to the average rate from D-Day to VE day then you might get closer to parity. But this is all playing with stats.

But as said, comparisons aside, and as Col (retd) Barry points out in the article the rate of casualties, thankfully more wounded than KIA (RIP to the 3 unlucky lads) definately has the potential to start to affect morale. From what I have read and heard from the guys I know then morale is still pretty good all things considered, all the more credit to the guys. But if we are looking at WW2 history then several months on from D-Day then infantry numbers did start to become a problem. More and more replacements were drawn from non-infantry sources with detramental effects on morale and unit effectiveness.

History doesnt repeat itself but sometimes it does rhyme.
 
#12
nigegilb said:
Sergey, I have just finished reading a book about Afg. It touched on the Russian occupation and the generally positive effect it had on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Afghan women who had previously been denied an education and a role in society. When the Russian army went home, Afghan women were sent back to their homes. Modern day Afg is turning its back on a modern role for its women folk. I suspect, the challenge taken on by NATO, if it is to succeed will take 25 years minimum, and will involve re-educating an entire population. Have to say, I understand your doubts entirely.
When I was in Kabul in 2004-2005, I (perhaps naively) felt we had truly "liberated" the place. Women were free to choose whether they wore the veil or not, young men were studying at universities with high hopes of making something of themselves in Western countries, and we were offered bread by families everywhere we went.

It saddens and sickens me that this freedom we gave them may be turning around and their freedom is something I would gladly fight for... If only the government would give us the support and backing to do it properly.
 
#13
Bat_Crab said:
Agreed, but without commitment to Iraq and with the backing of NATO we should have the quantity of troops and the expertise to stay in Afg for years and improve the lot of the Afghan people.
nigegilb said:
Sergey, I have just finished reading a book about Afg. It touched on the Russian occupation and the generally positive effect it had on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Afghan women who had previously been denied an education and a role in society. When the Russian army went home, Afghan women were sent back to their homes. Modern day Afg is turning its back on a modern role for its women folk. I suspect, the challenge taken on by NATO, if it is to succeed will take 25 years minimum, and will involve re-educating an entire population. Have to say, I understand your doubts entirely.
so have we budgeted for 25 years of maintining a force in conflict operations, investing (AID) in both infastructure and educating too western democratice standards the bulk of a tribal and divided country......Hummmm, while i dispise the Taliban with a vengance if the bulk of the population is happy too live in a basic society, is it realy going to stop the war on terror !

while morale is still high on ops and they are getting the job done .... MOD budget permiting.

The casualty figures are something to be worried about, outside of the anger i feel for the fact we are there? It is important to be detached and impassionate when you address the problems of recruiting and retention!
 
#14
All we talk about is when we're going to be able to pull out. Afghans know this, and they also know that when that day comes the Taleban will return and will retake control. They're never going to take a long term view unless we do, and do so openly. This includes our own opposition parties and anti-war movements, Afghans understand democracy and aren't going to put all their eggs in our basket if they think that an election in the west could see them back in the hands of the Taleban.

As has been pointed out, if we want to sort out Afghanistan it will take a generation, maybe two, to do so. Unless we take this long term view we're just p!ssing into the wind. I don't see us taking this long term view, and I'm not sure if or why we should.
 
#15
Bert_Preast said:
All we talk about is when we're going to be able to pull out. Afghans know this, and they also know that when that day comes the Taleban will return and will retake control. They're never going to take a long term view unless we do, and do so openly. This includes our own opposition parties and anti-war movements, Afghans understand democracy and aren't going to put all their eggs in our basket if they think that an election in the west could see them back in the hands of the Taleban.

As has been pointed out, if we want to sort out Afghanistan it will take a generation, maybe two, to do so. Unless we take this long term view we're just p!ssing into the wind. I don't see us taking this long term view, and I'm not sure if or why we should.
We should take the long term view, if only because we've royally fcuked up their country and destroyed their infrastructure. However, we should do it properly, with the amount of force and backing required of such an operation.
 
#18
Slightly off thread, but a scary assessment of backward progress in Afg.

They'd rather die: brief lives of the Afghan slave wives

There is a huge gap between the reality on the ground and the "remarkable progress" claimed by western diplomats who sit in fortified compounds behind guards...

By Christina Lamb
THE first thing one notices about 16-year-old Gul Zam is her eyes, pretty and dark yet as watchful as a hunted animal's. But then the scarf covering her head shifts slightly, exposing a livid red scar on her neck. The hands that play nervously in her lap are ridged with pink burns that reach up her arms, across her chest and down her legs.

Three months ago Gul Zam poured petrol over her body and set herself alight. To her it was the only way out of a marriage so abusive that her husband Abdul had beaten her until her clothes were soaked in blood.

"I felt all other ways were blocked," she whispered. "My husband and his family treated me like a slave. But I could not go back to my family because of the shame that would bring. So I crawled into the yard, poured a can of petrol over me and lit a match."

Five years after the Taliban were ousted from Kabul, the number of Afghan women setting fire to themselves because they cannot bear their lives has risen dramatically.

"Parliament is just a showpiece for the West," complains Malalai Joya, one of the female MPs. "Women do not have liberation at all. People in power, whether in government, parliament or governors, are warlords and jihadis who are no different in their outlook from Taliban."

Gul Zam's husband and in-laws watched her burning and did nothing. She was saved by a neighbour who poured a bucket of water over her, wrapped her in a sheet and rushed her to hospital. After the doctors removed the sheet, tearing the blisters, she spent 10 days in a coma. Her head had been fused to her chest by the burns. She has endured several operations and will need at least six more before she can move her arms.

"This is a society where being born a woman is not a gift," said Alberto Cairo, an Italian doctor who runs the Red Cross clinic in Kabul where Gul Zam is being treated. His room is full of fairy lights and a laughing Christmas tree that he has kept up all year because "there didn't seem to be much happiness".

A report last week by the UK-based charity Womankind Worldwide said cases like Gul Zam's were becoming more common because between 60% and 80% of all marriages in Afghanistan were forced. More than half of all girls are married off before the age of 16, some as young as six. Many of these marriages are to settle debts or feuds between tribes. The women are regarded as commodities rather than wives and are often treated like slave workers by their new families.

Those who try to escape often end up in prison like 13-year-old Shabano, jailed in Kandahar for running away from the 50-year-old man to whom her father had sold her. "We don't have democracy in this country if someone wants a love marriage," she said, nibbling at grimy nails in the dark, dirty cell. "My father exchanged me for a teenage bride for himself."

Gul Zam was lucky. Not only was she saved, but unusually her family have decided to support her and her father demanded a divorce. But her story is an indictment of the international community's failure to improve the lives of Afghan women.

In 2001 the West's most-cited criticism of the Taliban regime was its oppression of women. Not only did the Taliban forbid women from working and girls from being educated, they also beat them for wearing lipstick or shoes that clicked on the ground. The all-encompassing burqa, with its ugly shape and cage-like grille over the eyes, became a symbol for a heartless regime.

Laura Bush, America's first lady, took over her husband's weekly radio address to highlight the plight of Afghan women. Cherie Blair made an impassioned speech at 10 Downing Street, saying: "Women could have their nails torn out for wearing nail polish."

"The recovery of Afghanistan must entail the restoration of rights of Afghan women," insisted Colin Powell, then the US secretary of state.

Five years on there is just one woman in government — the minister for women's affairs. Symbolic photographs of women throwing off their burqas after the Taliban had fled were no more than that. Apart from a small educated elite in Kabul, the overwhelming majority of women are still forced to cover their entire bodies and faces. The United Nations recently circulated a memo to all staff in Afghanistan, advising women to cover their heads even in Kabul.

Watching boys flying kites over the Bala Hissar fort or chattering girls streaming to school, white scarves over heads and rucksacks on backs, to say there have been no improvements since November 13, 2001, when the Taliban fled the capital, would be wrong. Millions of Afghans voted for a new president in 2004 and a parliament in 2005 in which 25% of the MPs are women. Five million children, of whom 1.5m are girls, are enrolled in school.

For all the talk of girls' education, only 5% of those of secondary school age are enrolled. More than 300 schools have been burnt down this year or shut after threats from militants, leaving 200,000 pupils with nowhere to go.

The only area in which the country could really be said to have made remarkable progress is in growing the poppy. Under British supervision, Afghanistan has become the world's biggest opium producer. Last year it produced 6,100 tons — 92% of world supply.

Afghanistan is engulfed in its bloodiest violence for 10 years. At least 3,000 people have been killed this year — more than twice last year's total.

There have been no significant water or power projects and two highways built with western aid have become almost no-go areas. The Kabul to Kandahar road is plagued by Taliban militants setting up fake checkpoints, killing Afghans accused of collaborating.

Two weeks ago I drove on the other new road from Jalalabad to Kabul, wearing a burqa because of warnings of foreigners being kidnapped. I was stopped at three checkpoints set up by police to extract bribes. As for the much-heralded parliament, it has more warlords and people charged with human rights abuses than women MPs. It has yet to create any legislation, though it has voted in pay rises for its members.


Inside Joya sits in a room that is bare of decoration apart from a black and white photograph of King Amanullah, under whose reign in the 1920s women were given equal rights and strict dress codes were abolished. She tells me she has just returned from visiting a five-year-old girl who had been kidnapped and raped in Kabul by a local commander. "The killing of women is like killing a bird for these men," she said. "We have no value." When she tries to speak in parliament, she is physically attacked by fellow MPs. "When I speak, they pelt me with water bottles," she said. "One shouted, ‘Take and rape her!' "The West talks of Afghan women having freedom and going outside without a burqa but I tell you the burqa was not the main problem for women. Look at the high rate of suicide among our women. The real problem is security and more and more are returning to the burqa."
 
#19
Bat_Crab said:
KGB_resident said:
British Empire and Soviet one tried to sort out Afghanistan. British Empire had crumbled and Soviet one crumbled as well. Now American Empire (NATO) tried to sort Afghanistan out. Rather NATO will be crumbled I bet.
Agreed, but without commitment to Iraq and with the backing of NATO we should have the quantity of troops and the expertise to stay in Afg for years and improve the lot of the Afghan people.
Quantity of troops? Number of troops is irrelevant in the struggle for 'hearts and minds'. Military victory in Afghanistan is impossible. The Soviet union had 100,000 in Afghanistan and puppet Afghani army was not symbolic. Pro-Soviet regime was able to be 2 years at power after the withdrawal.

So what was wrong with the Soviet plan to build secular, socialist, developed Afghanistan? Why had the plan failed?

It is impossible to make people of Afghanistan happy by force against its will.

Thanks to current strategy based mainly on military options, respect to Taliban is growing. Many regard it as a symbol of struggle against occupants. You may send more and more troops, lose more and more soldiers. It would be in vain, it would rather strenthen Taliban.

My son is acquainted with two lads here in Moscow. They are Pushtuns, sons of Afgani general who fled after the collapse of pro-Soviet regime. The boys said to my son: we Pushtuns are all Taliban. Btw, the general is awaiting an appointment to a significant post in Afghanistan where he has big enough business. Would he act in the Western interests? I'm not sure.
 
#20
nigegilb said:
"The recovery of Afghanistan must entail the restoration of rights of Afghan women," insisted Colin Powell, then the US secretary of state.
Bit tricky that one Colin. Especially when you haven't the guts to tackle the cause of the oppression.
 

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