Last Post

The Department of National defence maintains a website devoted to people in the armed forces killed in Afghanistan.

Employing my lunch hour usefully, I counted them in several ways: sources of death, and by language group. Language is not always easy to guess, but I assigned people to language groups by their name, and town and province of origin. If an English-Canadian with a franglo name from a Quebec village was mis-assigned, there was only one such by my count.

Here is my count. Total/english speaker/french speaker

Dead from IEDs, mines or other planted explosives: 91/68/23

Dead from accidents or natural causes: 16/12/4

Dead from suicide bomber 12/12/0

Dead from combat 20/19/1

Dead from friendly fire 5/4/1

I counted 144 dead from all causes over the more than ten years of combat operations in Afghanistan.

Of that figure, 63.2% were killed by planted explosives.

11.1% were killed in accidents or natural causes and 8% by suicide bomber. 13.8% died in combat deaths inflicted directly by enemies, and  3.4% by friendly fire. Adding the two figures (13.8+3.4)%=17.2% killed in direct combat-related deaths. Adding the suicide bomber figure to the combat deaths, because what is a suicide bomber other than an extreme case of a man going into combat, we arrive at 17.2 + 8=25.2% of deaths by direct enemy action.

Accordingly, nearly two-thirds of  deaths were from planted explosives, and one-quarter by forms of combat in which the enemy was at risk of death. (25.2+63.2)%=88.4%.

Calculating by language, I found 29 deaths among French-language speakers, or 20.1% of the total. This is extremely close to the percentage of French-language speakers as a whole in the Canadian population (22.3%), especially given the sample size of 144 people.

I also counted two dead of obviously Arab origin Canadian soldiers among the 144.

The more numerate or those with time to spare may feel free to correct these figures.

If you only go the the site to gaze upon those handsome men and beautiful women, those healthy products of a happy society, and wonder why on earth we should send them to Afghanistan, as opposed to nuking the place from space, I would be interested in your answers.

Bookmark and Share
Nicola T.

You could have also sorted by regiments. I believe Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry had the most killed and wounded. A regiment based in the West.

How about a bomb that only kills men? The country could then be run by women.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *