The other day I posted about the relatively high proportion of Danes among casualties in the Iraq war, and also as readers of Gates of Vienna. At the time I wasn’t able to find a table listing Coalition casualties in Afghanistan by country, but several readers have since located the data and sent it to me.
Paul of the Celestial Junk Blog sent me the figures along with an informative account of Canada’s part in the fighting in Afghanistan:
I just read your post on Danish casualties in Afghanistan. It’s interesting because in Canada it’s the belief that Canadians have been suffering the highest rate of casualties. So, I did some checking. It turns out that Canadians are now suffering the second-highest rate of casualties per population of country. It’s also interesting that Canadian and Danish troops fight close to one another in Helmand.
Here are the casualty stats you were looking for in Afghanistan:
Country Casualties American 418 British 93 Canadian 81 German 29 Spanish 23 Danish 15 Dutch 14 French 12 Italian 12 Romanian 6 Australian 4 Norwegian 3 Polish 3 Estonian 2 Portuguese 2 Swedish 2 Czech 2 Finnish 1 South Korean 1
The ratios for Denmark and Canada are:
Canadian population 33,225,000 (1 in 410,185) Denmark 5,468,120 (1 in 390,580)
Here’s another interesting stat, though. As a ratio of troops deployed, nobody even comes close to Canada for deaths. We’ve taken a beating largely due to the fact that we’ve taken on some of the toughest terrain and we were the first in Helmand to use aggressive offensive actions. While others patrolled from a distance or sat in FOBs, Canadians dug out the Taliban.
Here’s some spectacular video of our 2006 campaign, where we wrestled the land from the barbarians.
I took Paul’s figures and built a table of extended data and some graphs, just as I did with the data from Iraq. The country/population database I’m using is a little out of date (2004), but the relative proportions between Western countries should be pretty much the same as they are now:
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Paul’s figure for Denmark was 15, as opposed to the 14 I listed the other day. I don’t know which one is right, but I left his figures as he sent them.
Here’s the way the raw casualties look on a graph:
And here’s the proportional version, weighted by population:
As you can see, Denmark has indeed suffered the heaviest losses, with Canada a close second. Next come the UK and Estonia, with the United States in fifth place. Unlike the conflict in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan is placing a heavier burden on our allies than it is on us.
But some allies take more casualties than others, and Denmark and Canada are seeing the worst of it.