The last official figures on Afghan military deaths came out in 2016. 22 soldiers were killed on an average day, and this was so bad that Afghan and US officials decided that death tolls would subsequently be kept secret
Things have just gotten worse, and 22 deaths would be a comparatively mild day compared to media reports on the death tolls in recent days. In the past week, the average day has seen roughly 57 deaths among Afghan security forces.
The Pentagon’s recent decision to more heavily publicize Taliban body counts, to try to sell the war to the administration, likely comes from the same place as the decision to keep Afghan military deaths secret, as this will just reveal the extent of the conflict’s failure.
The Afghan government wants to avoid publicizing it, in particular, because it’s having a negative effect on recruitment. The Afghan military doesn’t pay well, and the hugely dangerous reality of the job would just further harm their already struggling recruiting numbers.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- At Least 30 Killed in Attacks Across Afghanistan - December 11th, 2018
- Iraqi Warplanes Strike Two ISIS Buildings in Eastern Syria - December 11th, 2018
- Trump Offers to Intervene in Huawei Case to Close Trade Deal - December 11th, 2018
- State Dept: Ending Yemen War 'Sends a Wrong Message' - December 11th, 2018
- Senate to Vote on Yemen War Challenge on Wednesday - December 11th, 2018