Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Afghan army, police take increasing casualties

Dec. 3, 2012 - 10:19AM   |   Last Updated: Dec. 3, 2012 - 10:19AM  |  
  • Filed Under

BRUSSELS — More than 300 Afghan soldiers and policemen are dying each month as the Afghan national security forces assume increasing responsibility for the war, military officials said Monday.

Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said deaths have risen in the past year as the army and police have taken over the lead role for security in areas covering 75 percent of the country's population. He said on average, 110 soldiers and 200 policemen have been killed in action each month.

Azimi, speaking to reporters at NATO headquarters by video conference from Kabul, did not specify by how much those numbers had grown this year.

In contrast, fatalities among NATO soldiers have fallen steadily since mid-2012. This coincided with the drawdown of foreign troops, who are scheduled to end their combat role in 2014.

President Obama has pledged to wind down the 11-year-old war, even as the U.S. Congress and some NATO allies press for an accelerated withdrawal. The intent, approved by NATO in 2010, is to remove combat forces by the end of 2014 but to continue yet-to-be-defined security assistance.

The number of U.S. and NATO troops has decreased steadily throughout this year, from a peak of about 140,000 to just more than 100,000 now. Commanders are now drawing up plans for the drawdown to continue into 2014.

In July, 45 U.S. and NATO troops died from all causes; in August, 53; in September, 27; in October, 23; and in November, 17, according to statistics compiled by The Associated Press.

"The capability of the Afghan (security forces) has really increased, and we are capable of taking over security for all of Afghanistan by 2014," Azimi said.

But while troops can take on the Taliban insurgents in battle, the military still has deficiencies in the nascent air force, military intelligence, fire support capabilities, and in the engineering and demining branches, he said.

Maj. Gen. Jim Ferron, deputy commander of NATO's training mission, said there had been a delay in reaching the full recruitment goal of 352,000 Afghan troops and police due to the vetting procedures put in place after a spate of insider attacks on NATO troops.

Originally, the security forces were planned to reach the 352,000 figure before the end of 2012, but this will not take place until next February or March, Ferron said.

The beefed-up vetting procedures for potential recruits include getting letters of recommendation from tribal elders, numerous interviews, biometric registration and other measures, he said.

This year, more than 60 NATO service members have been killed in attacks by members of the Afghan security forces or insurgents dressed in their uniforms. Dozens of Afghan troops also have died in similar attacks.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

U.S. military shifting gears in Europe
'Center of gravity' heads east amid new tensions

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Fraud in day cares
(0 replies)
   Last Post: garhkal
        Apr 24, 2014 11:42 PM
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        Apr 23, 2014 4:14 PM
   Last Post: Stalwart
        Apr 23, 2014 12:27 PM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook