Afghan Military Death Rate Rises This Year: SIGAR

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in a report on Sunday that the death rate among Afghan security forces is increasing far above last year’s levels.

According to the SIGAR report, 2015 was a terrible year, with an estimated 5,000 killed and another 15,000 wounded, primarily by the Taliban.

But the report says that the death toll this year is higher: From January 1 through August 19, a total of 5,523 Afghan service members were killed.

An additional 9,665 members were wounded during the same period, the report said.

“The most immediate challenge to the U.S reconstruction effort, and to the viability of the Afghan nation state, remains the armed insurgency pursued by the Taliban and other factions,” the inspector general, John Sopko, said in the report.

U.S Army General John Nicholson, the top U.S and NATO commander in Afghanistan, warned a week ago that basic leadership failures in many Afghan police and military units were helping drive casualty rates higher.

Meanwhile, a number of Afghan MPs and members of Nangarhar provincial council said the tension between government leaders will affect the morale of the security forces.

“There is a weakness in management and the casualty among the Afghan forces will surge if this issue is not addressed. Coordination must increase and disorders among security forces should end,” said Saleh Mohammad Saleh, an MP from Kunar.

“The political leaders should realize that their tension is dangerous than destructive activities by Pakistan and Taliban. Our leaders should find ways to save Afghanistan from the crisis,” said Zabihullah Zemarai, member of Nangarhar provincial council.

The Interior Ministry has not commented on SIGAR report so far. However, the Defense Ministry has rejected the report.

“First, we are not confirming the report. We accept that our casualty was high this year and last year but it did not reach 5,000,” said Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the Defense Ministry.

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