Friday marked the 10th anniversary of the United States' war against terrorism in Afghanistan. During the past decade, U.S. armed forces, working together with the military services of other NATO countries, overthrew the Taliban and a puppet government accused of providing support to terrorist groups such as al-Qaida.
However, the price the men and women of the U.S. armed forces -- and their families -- have paid over that decade has been very high.
On average, Operation Enduring Freedom has cost the U.S. one miltary-service member every two days. In the last 10 years, the total number of U.S. service fatalities reported in Afghanistan was 2,754; a staggering 1,802 of whom were lost in military operations. Last year was the worst for U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan, with 499 of them reported killed. And, of course, many more were wounded.
Currently, the U.S. has 90,000 service members assigned to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
Helmand and Kandahar have been the two deadliest provinces for ISAF members, with 1,188 of them killed there during the last decade, according to iCasualties.org. In Helmand, the coalition lost 290 personnel last year and 118 so far this year. In Kandahar, the coalition lost 105 personnel last year and 71 so far this year. In both provinces, the U.S. has endured the highest number of losses.
However, the UK has lost almost as many as service members in Helmand.
After the U.S., the UK has the most military-service personnel currently deployed in Afghanistan. According to the ISAF Web site, the UK has 9,500. It is followed by France, 3,935; Italy, 3,916; and Poland, 2,580.