U.S. military deaths in the 13-year Afghanistan war increased nearly fourfold under President Barack Obama, from an estimated 558 at the end of the previous administration to at least 2,207 now.
Breitbart News’ count is gleaned from AP’s database of casualties in the ongoing Afghanistan war, which started almost 13 years ago to this day on October 7, 2001.
Of the 2,207 U.S. military fatalities as of the end of last month, 1,649, or about 75 percent, have occurred since Obama was inaugurated for his first-term over six years ago on January 20, 2009.
In contrast, under the Bush administration, 558 American were killed by insurgents in Afghanistan.
Obama escalated the American military presence in Afghanistan almost immediately upon taking office in 2009. When campaigning for his first-term, he referred to the conflict as the “good” war.
The president endorsed a withdrawal plan that is currently underway to end combat operations in Afghanistan at the end of this year.
Newly-elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai recently signed a long-delayed security pact, which cemented the United States ability to leave behind a residual force in a train and assist capacity beyond 2014.
Under the plan, the U.S. military footprint will be reduced to 9,800 troops from a peak of 100,000 during the 2010 surge by the end of this year. That force will be further reduced to about half, an estimated 5,000, by the end of 2015.
All U.S. forces will be withdrawn by 2017 with the exception of embassy security personnel.
Most U.S. fatalities are combat-related. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs), also known as homemade bombs, have been the number one killer of American soldiers.
American soldiers have been primarily killed during battles in Afghan provinces at or near the border with Pakistan. The U.S. military has suffered more fatalities in the southern Afghan provinces of Helmand and Kandahar than elsewhere in the country. Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban.
As the U.S. prepares to end combat operations, however, insurgent activity has expanded to areas in the north and east of the country that had not seen much fighting until recently. Most of that activity has been in eastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan.
Afghan forces have suffered most of the insurgent-inflicted fatalities this year as they have taken the lead of security in the country.
AP’s total count of American deaths throughout the war at 2,207 is three less than the most recent tally by the U.S. Department of Defense. The Pentagon’s count may include deaths that have not been officially identified.
The AP database relies on AP news reports and information released by DOD.