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UK Afghanistan deaths exceed 10000000

War on Terror’s binary worldview bad for fatality figures

a Chinook in Afghanistan

A Chinook struggles to maintain altitude, despite having dropped its platoon of barely-equipped British soldiers

photo: © Crown Copyright/MOD 2006

Aghast newspapers, critics of the UK involvement in Afghanistan, and people with little understanding of modelling random events involving small numbers this week heralded the ‘deadliest day’ in the war’s history, with a staggering eight deaths occurring in a single twenty-four–hour period.

However, even the arbitrary time frame selected by headline-writers could not massage the statistics to make it worse than the conflict’s actual deadliest day, on which some fourteen servicemen were killed when their RAF Nimrod crashed, in an incident found by an enquiry to have been due to ‘friendly fuel’.

The eight soldiers died in two separate incidents after their vehicles were destroyed by improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, planted by insurgents. ‘This clearly shows that we are getting better at understanding the enemy’s tactics, and finding their munitions,’ explained UK commander Francis Bargle. ‘The next stage is to find a safer way of doing it.’

These latest developments take the British death toll in Afghanistan up to 184, finally surpassing the 179 achieved in Iraq.

The Tories were quick to capitalise on the deaths, with leader David Cameron slamming Labour for its paltry provision of air support for our boys. ‘It is a scandal that every serviceman, servicewoman and servicechild in Afghanistan does not have their own chopper. I know I have, and so do all my friends.’

Foreign Secretary David Miliband stepped up to defend the conflict: ‘We must ensure that Afghanistan cannot again become an incubator for terrorism and a launching pad for attacks on us. Like it was, you know, when all those terrorists trained in Afghanistan came and did all those terror attacks. You know the ones. All over the UK. All those bombs..? You remember, the ones that didn’t exist but could have killed your children.’

 

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