Monday 28 March 2011

US troops already peaked in Afghanistan?

New figures on US troop deployment to Afghanistan for the last three years up to and including December 2010 show that the total number of deployed troops may already have reached its highest figure and that numbers are now slowly declining.
The datasets, released to Science magazine by ISAF in January this year, show that the number of US troops deployed had almost tripled from 55,668 in January 2008 to 149,257 in October 2010. However, since then numbers had fallen to 146,106 in November and 142,104 in December. It seems unlikely that troop numbers will surpass the October figure, as the troop drawdown is expected to begin in a couple of months.
Science has also published some other fascinating datasets from Afghanistan, including civilian casualty stats from ISAF, from UNAMA and from the Afghanistan Rights Monitor. The comparison shows that ISAF stats differ radically from both UNAMA and ARM. For 2010, for example, ISAF records 202 civilian deaths in the whole of Afghanistan. UNAMA gives a figure of 2,777 for the same period, whilst ARM records 1,074 civilian deaths in the first six months of 2010.
The Science magazine website also includes datasets for ISAF troop deployments by month and maps shows the location and changing national leadership of the regional commands, as well as nationality of ISAF troops. There are also additional civilian casualty data.

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