Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan?

  1. Jul 20, 2009 #1
    Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    At the moment lots of British and American soliders have been killed fighting for their country in Afghanistan but i have never heard of a Frenchman or German being killed in Afghanistan, Iraq or any other countries of that ilk.

    A friend of mine has told me that other then Britain most of Europe won't fight terrorism because they're not bothered to spend the time, money or resources. From what i've read on the internet i'd have to agree with him. This makes me quite angry because France and Germany are supposed to be to of the main countries in Nato and yet i don't find much effort from either of them in this war for democracy over injustice, prejudice and terror. I believe all of Europe should be involved in the fight againest the taliban and i also believe that it shouldn't just be only Britain and America paying in money and blood defending the freedoms of the peoples of the middle east and the west.

    Please post your opinion and thanks in advance for any replies.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 20, 2009 #2

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    Does fox report the deaths of foreigners ?

    There are approx 2800 Canadian troops, 4000 German, 3500 French, 2000 Dutch

    NATO = North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
    Afgahistan = not predominately in the North Atlantic, in fact it is rather deficient in the whole ocean area.
     
  4. Jul 20, 2009 #3

    chemisttree

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    Really, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Forces_casualties_in_Afghanistan" [Broken] better.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Jul 20, 2009 #4

    George Jones

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  6. Jul 20, 2009 #5

    tiny-tim

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    some friend!

    Some friend! :rolleyes:

    He needs to spend the time, money and resources to look at wikipedia's article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition_casualties_in_Afghanistan" [Broken] (as of two days ago) …

    Coalition deaths in Afghanistan by country
    USA: 667*
    UK: 185
    Canada: 124*
    Germany: 38
    France: 28
    Denmark: 26
    Spain: 25
    Netherlands: 19
    Italy: 15
    Australia: 11
    Romania: 11
    Poland: 9
    Estonia: 4
    Norway: 4
    Latvia: 3
    Czech Republic: 3
    Hungary: 2
    Portugal: 2
    South Korea: 2
    Sweden: 2
    Turkey: 2
    Finland: 1
    Lithuania: 1

    TOTAL: 1,184
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Jul 20, 2009 #6

    MATLABdude

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    I think the point is made succinctly:
    http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/E1mn...erman+Soldiers+Killed+Afghanistan/-mHNjtAMEe7

    I'm Canadian, and images / stories like the following are coming on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis now (remember that our entire military, up and down the chain of command, only has 65,000 people):
    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090718/soldier_funeral_090718/20090718?hub=Canada [Broken]

    I won't let outrage rule me, as it has your friend. I would hope he / you don't continue to spread that misinformation. You're free to suggest the NATO allies ought to do more, but don't get all self-righteous and tell us we're not doing anything or are cowards (a FOX Morning TV host made a really, really poorly timed / delivered joke(?) mocking Canadian contributions in Afghanistan on the day following the death of 3 Canadians).
    http://www.cbc.ca/arts/tv/story/2009/03/23/redeye-soldiers-mocking.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Jul 20, 2009 #7
    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    Wow, really tiny_tim? Only 1,184 casualties? That's crazy.
     
  9. Jul 20, 2009 #8

    lisab

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    Not sure what your point is...the number is crazy high, or crazy low?
     
  10. Jul 20, 2009 #9
    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    That is the size of a small town all dying. It is no WWII, but it is not insignificant neither.
     
  11. Jul 20, 2009 #10
    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    I don't think tiny_tim meant anything other than pointing out that US and UK are not only ones that are losing men neither see any of his opinion on this.

    All I see is US and UK have 70% of the deaths and other countries 30% (plain numbers). I don't know how to interpret these numbers or even if contribution (which can be of different forms and based on interests) can be measured by deaths.
     
  12. Jul 20, 2009 #11
    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    No. I just found it crazy low. It's amazing how they can conduct these wars with so few casualties. From a soveignty perspective, for the cost of an extremely small hamlet you could have your own sizeable country.
     
  13. Jul 21, 2009 #12

    MATLABdude

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    The raw cost (yes, factoring in inflation) to equip a US soldier today is about 100 times what it was during WWII. This doesn't factor in the considerable training they get these days, nor the overwhelming (to the enemy) logistics used to maintain the troops in the field:
    http://www.abqtrib.com/news/2007/oct/04/cost-equip-us-soldier-17500-please/

    Because of better medicine, medivac, and the ability to fly the wounded out to a state-of-the-art real hospital (e.g. Landstuhl in Germany) within hours, the survival rate is significantly higher. Frankly, many of the service people who are wounded in action today would have died in past conflicts. That's also why you're seeing and hearing about many more service people with symptoms resulting from severe head trauma--they would've just died in the past:
    http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=39414

    Tangentially, the average soldier may, or may not, be facing more intense conflict than ever (number and duration of engagements per solder per year). That may be fueling the amount of PTSD cases you're seeing. Or people might just be more willing to talk about it. Truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2005/050412-gone-to-war.htm

    EDIT: Not a soldier, officer, or doctor.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  14. Jul 21, 2009 #13
    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    Its because they mostly bomb them out.
    This is apparently for last year alone.
     
  15. Jul 21, 2009 #14

    Office_Shredder

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    There are somewhere around 20,000 total civilian casualties in Afghanistan since 2001 (numbers vary widely between 10k and 30k). On the other hand there are some 25,000+ military casualties (coalition plus insurgents. Source: Wikipedia. If you think it's wrong, prove it). So it's about 1 to 1 civilian to military casualties. Nearly twice as many civilians as soldiers died in WWII, in WWI there were as many civilian as military casualties, in the Korean war there were about as many civilian as military casualties. The civilian casualty count in Afghanistan is not shockingly higher compared to the size of the conflict when put in light of other conflicts in the past century.
     
  16. Jul 21, 2009 #15
    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    Call me a callous machievellian douche but a couple thousand deaths and an entire country changes hands vs. hundreds of thousands to extend a line of trenches a couple miles... I honestly thought that the afghan war was COSTLIER than it was/is.
     
  17. Jul 21, 2009 #16

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    The public's stomach for accepting casualties in war is a lot lower than it used to be. That's why you're surprised at how low the number is.
     
  18. Jul 21, 2009 #17
    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    Thank you everyone for your posts. The reason i posted this is because after talking to my friends they all agreed that this was the situation in the middle east, i wasn't really posting my own opinion as much as i was trying to recreate their opinion and what may be public opinion which is usually based on the supposedly bias news (For example: We didn't even know there were Canadians in Afganistan).

    But after researching the situation in Afganistan further i found that German and French forces are actually not the on frontline but mainly based in the much quieter north of the country, most are not killed in action, 12-16 of the 38 Germans were killed by accidents and many of the rest are killed by car bombs and other booby traps.

    So basically im asking why are the Americans, Canadians and British on the frontline and why aren't the French or Germans? and do you think this is fair?
     
  19. Jul 21, 2009 #18

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    Before looking for the answer you should be aware of the fact that not everyone believes that military action was the best way of dealing with the situation. Still, countries that prefered other approaches felt obliged by pacts to take part in the operation.

    Note: I am carefully not stating who is right and which option (military vs political) was a better choice.
     
  20. Jul 21, 2009 #19

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    It's not really a war as such it's more like a police action.
    The afghan government is on our side, the other lot don't have an army/navy/airforce the casualty figures are roughly in line with most other similar actions - higher than N. Ireland, lower than Gaza.

    Casualty figures for real (two armies in uniform) wars have an interesting trend.
    From the middle ages, through the Napoleonic wars upto the first world war the majority of casualties were due to conditions, weather, lack of food, poor water etc. Almost nobody died due to the enemy.
    WWI and into WWII machine guns and decent artillery managed to kill more soldiers.
    Then in Korea and Vietnam limited contact with the enemy reduced the figures again and improved medical evac meant that wounded were much less likely to die. But more mechanized equipement and more rear-area personnel meant more deaths from accidents.

    Ultimately in gulf war I almost all the deaths were due to accidents or friendly fire - thats pretty much the standard now.
    For some parts of gulf war II and Afghanistan the casualty rate was lower than for some exercises (per number of troops).
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  21. Jul 21, 2009 #20
    Re: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan????

    Well the notion that the war in afghanistan or iraq was about terrorism or tyranny is laughable. If america were to compile a list of potential threats eliminated/democracy gained (by force of course) vs. american casualties I wouldn't even think afghanistan or iraq would make the top 30 (I mean why not invade Haiti or Columbia or some such). And the notion that they were after osama or wmd's is equally preposterous. If their priority was osama/al-qaeda they would have either just sent in an assassination squad or tried to poison his aspirin (a la castro) or try to turn one of his inner circle to do the job for you. Full scale invasion with months of warning before you even get close to his location? Not exactly effective. Case in point, no one knows where osama is no one really cares.

    So why didn't france and germany rattle the sabre with the states? Well look from their perspective. America wants to make itself a nice little home in the middle east (since israel just wasn't cutting it) and they want your man power to do it. However, if they do get said foothold then you will reap the benefits as well (cheaper oil). So you make token protestations about war mongering and illegal invasion and then just toe the line between minimal compliance and alienation (in terms of the U.S. gov't, not the U.S. people, I don't think the french gov't gives two hoots whether podunk americans relable french fries freedom fries) and see what happens.

    Now, why did Canada go? Well because we depend on the states for trade in a huge way so the risk of alienation was much greater than it was for france or germany so we went. Did we think you were full of it? Oh most definetly. Canadian soldiers are dying because Bush got tired of OPEC.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Is it just Britain and America in Afghanistan?
  1. America (Replies: 84)

  2. Britain vs America (Replies: 17)

  3. Little Britain (Replies: 7)

Loading...