Afghan policemen keep watch in the downtown of Kunduz city, Afghanistan October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Nasir Wakif
Washington Post: One week. Hundreds of dead and wounded. How Afghan forces are struggling with heavy casualties.
KABUL — Heavy fighting between Afghan security forces and Taliban militants is taking its toll, as large numbers of casualties across the country are pushing recently trained Afghan air medical evacuation crews to their limits.
During one week in August alone, between Aug. 22 and 29, Afghan crews recovered 125 Afghan troops killed and more than 280 wounded, according to U.S. military documents reviewed by The Washington Post on Thursday. The casualties — equating to almost 18 dead per day — were spread across 37 different locations all over the country. By comparison, the worst month for U.S. forces was August 2011, when 71 were killed.
The snapshot of the Afghan dead and wounded – tracked closely by the U.S. military – helps illustrate the staggering casualty numbers that increasingly weigh on top U.S. generals, given what they say about the state of the war in Afghanistan 15 years after American forces first toppled the Taliban and the Afghan security forces’ ability to keep fighting an entrenched insurgency.
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WNU Editor: You cannot sustain (or win) a war if you are losing your commanders and soldiers at this rate.