Juan Cole passes along some welcome news:
For the first time since 2007, no US troops were killed in Afghanistan in March, and for the first time since early 2003 no US troops were killed in combat anywhere in the world for a whole month.
Change we can believe in. Mark Thompson posts charts recording Afghanistan and Iraq War causalities (Afghanistan chart above):
According to these charts from iCasualties.org, the best and speediest accounting of U.S. war dead, U.S. deaths in the Iraq war peaked in Nov. 2004, when 137 troops were killed. The peak in Afghanistan was Aug. 2011, when 65 died. The deadliest year in Iraq for U.S. troops was 2007, when 904 perished. In Afghanistan, 2010 was the grimmest, with 496 dead. A total of 4,486 U.S. troops were killed in Iraq, including in accidents and other non-hostile events. The toll in Afghanistan stands at 2,315.
For too long, we’ve begun to think of some trends as simply unavoidable, as if a “new normal” were somehow permanent. Among them was the assumption that American troops will be slain in battle as the war in Afghanistan continues. But as we’re occasionally reminded, there’s nothing permanent about it.