US Combat Deaths Reach a Five-Year High in Afghanistan

Death tolls have been steadily rising since 2016

The deaths of two US soldiers on Wednesday has brought the number of American combat deaths in Afghanistan in 2019 to 14. This is the highest number of such deaths in the past five years, with four months left in the year.

With combat deaths down to 10 in 2015, with the Obama Administration claiming the end to combat at the end of 2014, the number of deaths has slowly but steadily been rising, hitting its previous high of 13 deaths in 2018.

This is still down from the 40 killed in 2014, which was the end of the Obama-era surge. It is still a concern that the deaths are rising, and that the war is getting worse, with US-backed forces losing ground at an alarming rate.

This once again points to what is driving the US to try to negotiate a settlement of the war with the Taliban. It’s a losing war, and a rising death toll, among civilians and combatants is not a popular combination.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of