Report Shows Air Strike Casualties Comparatively Low

Improvised explosive devices planted by Taliban insurgents are much more likely to kill or injure Afghan civilians than coalition air strikes, according to a new report from the National Bureau of Economic Research. In fact, the data presented in the working paper, The Effect of Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, show that, despite the negative publicity that they receive, air strikes accounted only for 6 percent of ISAF-caused casualties of women and children and about 16 percent of ISAF-caused casualties among adult males between January 2009 and March 2010. Traffic accidents with ISAF forces caused more Afghan civilian casualties than air strikes, the data show. During that period, insurgents caused 243 of 395 casualties among women and children and 3,857 of 4,255 casualties among adult males, states the report. IEDs accounted for about 60 percent of the insurgent-caused women’s and children’s casualties and about 70 percent of the insurgent-caused adult male casualties. (NBER Web site)