US study confirms UK fatalities in Afghanistan twice those of US


The Costs of War to United States Allies Since 9/11 by Jason W. Davidson, Brown University, May 12, 2021:

While the U.S. had the largest total number of fatalities, the allies were not mere bystanders, as some believe. Some U.S. military service members, for instance, joked that ISAF stood for “I Saw Americans Fight” because of all the caveats and limits on when and how some allies could engage the enemy. Yet hundreds of allied troops died. The United Kingdom lost 455 service members, Canada lost 158, and
France, Germany, and Italy each lost dozens.

When we look at numbers of fatalities relative to the size of each country’s deployment, Canadian soldiers suffered the highest risk of dying, with their 158 fatalities accounting for 5.4% of Canada’s peak deployment in 2011. The United Kingdom’s 455 fatalities amounted to 4.7% of its peak deployment in 2011. In comparison, the U.S. incurred 2,316 fatalities, which was 2.3% of its peak deployment in 2011. These numbers demonstrate that British and Canadian troops were not hiding from the fight—they put their lives at risk at twice the rate of American troops, when seen as a percentage of peak deployment.

One obvious explanation lies in the placement of UK forces in the most dangerous region of Afghanistan – Helmand – but other factors have been suggested:

British soldiers were 12% more likely to have been killed than their American counterparts during the “war on terror” in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a study of casualty figures. The research – intended as a lessons learned exercise – also concludes that UK forces were 26% more likely to have been killed by improvised explosives, validating longstanding complaints about the poorly armoured Snatch Land Rover. Iain Overton, the editor of the study, said that while it was hard to be “absolutely concrete” on why British troops were more likely to have died, “repeated scandals over poor equipment” were likely to have had an impact.

The MoD had failed to upgrade essential elements of the army’s core kit despite pledging billions of pounds to pay for the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers and Typhoon jets for the Royal Air Force. “You have a position where either you don’t have the right equipment or you have the equipment but you aren’t trained properly.

What then of Scottish regiments?

We now know that the long-dominant view that Scotland did not suffer more army deaths per head than other parts of the UK in World War 1, is a myth:

In Patrick Watt’s Manpower, Myth and Memory: Analysing Scotland’s Military Contribution to the Great War in the Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, on 24th May 2019 based on extensive research, a different fact emerges:

Overall, 91,800 out of the 702,410 fatalities sustained by the British Army were born in Scotland. This is a 13.07 per cent share of the British total, some 2.6 per cent higher than Scotland’s share of the British population. Even using the highest estimate of British army casualties supplied by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (759,062 soldiers) gives a 12.09 per cent share of the British total, compared to 10.47 per cent of the British population. The combined total of war dead for all three services – 102,500
soldiers, sailors and airmen – means that 13.78 per cent of the ‘official’ British total from 1921, or 12.32 per cent of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission total were born in Scotland. Therefore, it can be said with certainty that men born in Scotland did suffer disproportionately more deaths during the war than the other nations of the United Kingdom.

But in Afghanistan, 100 years later?

Things look different. I can find no data to support any suggestion that Scots were more likely to die.

9 thoughts on “US study confirms UK fatalities in Afghanistan twice those of US

  1. Interesting stat on Scotland’s %age of UK population in WW1 – 11.1%. So since WW1 scotland’s percentage of UK population has fallen from 11.1% to approx 8.5%. That would figure because since 1950 Scotland’s population has not increased at all. In fact between 1950 and 2004 it dropped from 5.4million to around 5million. It did recover to 5.4million between 2004 and 2019 due to the SNP encouraging migration into the country of young Europeans to settle and start businesses and raising families. Needless to say that was unacceptable to the English who hate foreigners, so we had Brexit to prevent us growing our population and economy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Why are people dying in Afghanistan. If all the monies spent on War was spent improving their economy, no one would be being killed. The West UK/US illegal actions.

    The 1950 population fall in Scotland. War dead. Scotland population was 5million, on average, since 1900 until Devolution 2000. Scotland revenues and resources were taken illegally to fund London S/E. Pop now 5.5million.

    All European population are falling without migration. Westminster Brexit based on migration. Migrants come to Europe because of US/UK illegal wars. Blowing the world to bits. Then not taking responsibility. Patel is a disgrace. Germany has 12Million migrants and one of the best economies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, immigration is key. The fact is that the populations of Scotland, Wales and NI have flat lined over three generations, all showing an increase of zero whilst England’s population has increased by approx 35% over the same period.

      This is multi generational cultural, economic and ethnic colonial genocide in a nutshell.


  3. O/T
    In what is a detailed but accessible collation and review, the House of Commons Library has just (10 May, 2021) published a briefing paper entitled:

    ‘Scottish independence referendum: legal issues’.

    In scope: ‘This briefing paper at first summarises the constitutional development of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, including past means of secession from the UK and its former Empire.

    ‘It then examines debates prior to the creation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 before tracing the Scottish Government’s attempts to legislate for a referendum in 2010-11. It looks at the debates and negotiations which led to the 2014 referendum, as well as subsequent requests for a s30 Order.

    ‘Finally, it examines recent legislative and legal developments in Scotland, including the prospect of referendum legislation being referred to the Supreme Court following the May 2021 Scottish Parliament election.’


    It’s long read but I found it a fascinating, rewarding and thought provoking one.


  4. The power of myths has played a central role in shaping the evolution of human civilisation, as myths provide a window of understanding for the interpretation of social reality, and ground the imagination. Though they tend to have little material substance. That’s why grounding law and public policy in politically generated myths, is more than a tad dangerous.

    Sovereignty and The Politics of Identity
    In International Relations


  5. I’m sorry to hear Stuart is giving up blogging, if that is what he decides to do, as he’s provided an invaluable public service, IMHO. Though I understand he is under no obligations, and is relatively powerless in undoing the harmful effects of a pathological and irrational public consciousness. Overcoming cognitive corruption in society and government is an institutional affair.

    Talking of which, Scotland needs to wake up to the fact that we have a legally defensible identity, and that Westminster only retains legal force over us, if we persist in giving them our permission. To continue doing so is to empower English Torydum over us, so it’s not exactly compatible with a respect for human dignity. Nor our principle moral obligation of defending our biological integrity from external degradation.

    Natural Rights and Modern Constitutionalism


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