March First Casualty-Free Month In Nearly 12 Years

March was the first month since July 2002 in which no U.S. combat fatalities were reported worldwide, according to Defense Casualty Analysis System. It also was only the third month since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom in October 2001 that there were no combat-related US deaths in Afghanistan (January 2007 and July 2002 were the other two fatality-free months). To date, 2,312 US military members have died in Afghanistan, including 14 so far in 2014; 19,693 troops have been wounded in action during the same time period, according to the Pentagon. Two allied soldiers did die in Afghanistan in March. However, neither died in combat. The US will withdraw all combat forces from Afghanistan by the end of the year. However, it’s still not clear how many, if any, forces will remain in country in the future. President Barack Obama ordered military planners to draw up contingency plans in February in case Afghan leaders fail to sign a bilateral security agreement that will allow US troops to continue operating in training and advising roles after combat operations end.