Bearing the burden: ISAF casualties in Afghanistan

Bearing the burden: ISAF casualties in Afghanistan

Updated Wed. Feb. 13 2008 5:34 PM ET

Bill Doskoch, News

Of all the countries participating in the UN-authorized and NATO-administered International Stabilization Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, Canadian troops have probably the most dangerous mission.

Other nations have lost more soldiers:

The U.S. has had 415 soldiers die in or near Afghanistan since 2001, with 68 more dying in other conflict zones as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, its post-9/11 counter-terrorism military mission.
Britain has lost 87 troops in Afghanistan since 2002.
Canada has seen 78 of its soldiers die on Afghan soil since 2002, along with a Canadian diplomat (a private citizen, Mike Frastacky, was murdered by the Taliban).

But some studies have found Canadian troops -- who by 2006 were playing a major role in the more dangerous southern part of the country -- are now at a much higher risk of dying in Afghanistan than either their British or U.S. counterparts.

Steven Staples, in a report he co-wrote for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said a Canadian soldier is three times more likely to be killed in Afghanistan than a British soldier -- and four and a half times more likely to die than an American.

"And a Canadian in Kandahar is six times more likely to die than an American soldier deployed to Iraq," wrote Staples, the director of the Rideau Institute on International Affairs.

The casualties have put Canada's mission in Afghanistan at the top of the national agenda, and Canada has been lobbying aggressively for more help for its 2,500 troops in Kandahar province, one of the most violent in Afghanistan.
More on the link which gives a very interesting breakdown of those countries serving and the casualties.

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