April 16, 2007

The turducken of air travel

I love this story.

Posted by BruceR at 03:23 PM

Casualties in Afghanistan: update

More on the fatalities in Afghanistan in 2006, thanks to Human Rights Watch. According to their figures, in 2006, Coalition and NATO forces killed at least 230 civilians. Insurgents, through bombings and assassinations, killed at least 669.

These are obviously somewhat different from the figures Haroon Siddiqui and others have been given to Canadians (see posts below). They are also consistent with the number of bombs dropped on Afghanistan last year, which as suggested below could not have resulted in civilian fatalities due to NATO action above the low hundreds (the remainder of the NATO-induced fatalities are almost certainly mistaken roadside shootings, etc.)

Note also that, given that both the UN and AP independently estimated that total killings in Afghanistan in 2006 were in the 4,000 range, that means most of the remaining 3,000-odd difference in the two fatality stats (assuming one isn't counting the relatively small number of Western fatalities) must have been armed personnel, on either the government or insurgent side.

This is really the big difference with Iraq. In Afghanistan, the rates of killing in 2006 were still relatively low (around 13 per 100,000 population, at least an order of magnitude less than in Iraq), and regionally confined. Three-quarters of the deaths are of soldiers, and only a quarter of civilians. Of the civilians, three-quarters are the result of either indiscriminate or targeted terror attacks aimed at splitting the government from its people (as opposed to Iraq's inter-ethnic strife). Were any of those facts true in Iraq, the American situation there could be very different.

Posted by BruceR at 12:48 PM