Afghanistan War: U.S. Wounded Toll in 2010 Nearly Matches All of 2009

Through June, toll quadruples 2009 pace and already approaches full-year total.

ByABC News
July 14, 2010, 8:52 PM

July 15, 2010 -- Already on track to be the deadliest year ever for American and NATO forces in Afghanistan since the Taliban was overthrown in late 2001, 2010 also will be the worst year ever for numbers of Americans wounded in the war.

In fact, the number of American service members wounded this year already has approached the number wounded for all of 2009.

Pentagon figures reflect the growing violence in Afghanistan this year as more troops arrive and the Taliban increases the number of its attacks against coalition forces pushing into areas they long controlled.

According to numbers compiled by the Defense Manpower Data Center, 2,000 Americans have been wounded in Afghanistan through July 3. That is almost as many as the 2,139 that were wounded in 2009. The 2009 wounded figures were themselves a three-fold increase over the previous year.

In another alarming statistic, four times as many American service members have been wounded in the first six months of 2010 as were wounded in the same time frame a year ago.

Through the end of June, 1,922 American service members have been wounded in Afghanistan. That compares to 485 wounded through the same time period last year.

June not only was the deadliest month ever for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, as 60 service members died in the conflict, but it also was the month that saw the highest number of American wounded.

In June, 517 Americans were wounded, continuing a trend from May, when 406 were wounded.

For comparison, the previous record high since the start of the war in Afghanistan was the 416 wounded in August 2009.

The 30,000 additional military forces ordered into Afghanistan this year by the Obama administration continue to stream in and have boosted American troop levels in Afghanistan to 95,000. Their numbers will peak at around 100,000 in a few months as the surge of forces is completed.

The increasing number of American fatalities and wounded this year were not unexpected given that senior Pentagon officials warned that casualties would rise as number of American troops on the ground increased and they moved into areas long controlled by the Taliban.