Accession Number:



The Human Cost of Reconstruction in Afghanistan

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction Arlington United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



An authoritative, comprehensive list of military and civilian casualties in Afghanistan related to reconstruction or stabilization activities does not exist. Detailed casualty information especially concerning civilians is scattered among several government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private entities. To conduct our analysis of casualties related to reconstruction and stabilization activities in Afghanistan, we relied primarily on official casualty and significant incident reports from the U.S. military services and U.S. agencies involved in reconstruction. We focused on the number of deaths because information on deaths was more comprehensive we collected the number of wounded and kidnappedmissing as the result of hostile action when that data was available.5 We chose April 17, 2002 as the start of reconstruction in Afghanistan because this was when then-President George W. Bush formally announced the commitment to rebuild Afghanistan at a speech at the Virginia Military Institute.6 Prior to that date most if not all military operations focused on combat and counterterrorism operations. We concluded our data collection on December 31, 2018. This time period covered reconstruction-related deaths during Operation Enduring Freedom OEF through December 31, 2014 and Operations Freedoms Sentinel OFS and Resolute Support ORS from January 1, 2015 until December 31, 2018.

Subject Categories:

  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement: