US, coalition deaths in Afghanistan fall in 2013

The number of U.S. and NATO troops killed in Afghanistan fell by more than 60 percent in 2013 to the lowest number in six years.

But that doesn’t indicate violence in Afghanistan is also trending downward.

While U.S. and NATO deaths are sharply down, the number of casualties in the Afghan army and police spiked, as Afghan forces took the lead on combat operations this year.


According to an Associated Press tally of casualties, 151 NATO troops were killed in 2013, down from 394 in 2012. Those figures include 118 U.S. service members killed, a drop from 297 last year.

Afghan deaths, meanwhile, increased to 2,767 for the army and police this year, up from 1,870 in 2012, according to the AP count.

Afghan civilians suffered the most casualties, as the United Nations found 2,730 were killed in 2013.

Nearly 1,800 U.S. troops have died since the Afghanistan War began more than 12 years ago.

The U.S. plans to hand full control of security to the Afghans at the end of 2014, which President Obama says will mark the end of the war. The U.S. still expects to leave between 8,000 and 10,000 troops in the country for training and counterterrorism missions.