Thursday, September 24, 2009

British frontline troops suffer 25% casulty rate

Sangin is the most glaring example of Britain’s strategic bleed-out in Helmand. Since April this year a battlegroup comprising various units built around the 2nd Battalion The Rifles has been pitted against the Taleban here, in a district the size of Dorset. According to defence sources, the battlegroup’s casualties in the period between April and late August numbered just over 100 soldiers killed and wounded in action.

664 British troops have been injured in Afghanistan alone, when read against the numbers of troops conducting operations, rather than those in headquarters, these figures give a casualty ratio of one in five. The figures are now out of date, and by the time the battlegroup finishes its tour it is likely that as many as one in four patrolling troops may be added to the list of dead and wounded.

This is the heaviest casualty rate of any British unit based in Helmand so far. It includes the losses of C Company 2 Rifles, which has suffered the worst casualties of any Nato sub-unit in Afghanistan. In addition, disease and non-battlefield injuries are claiming about five soldiers a week from the battlegroup’s operational capacity.

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