News24

Afghan numbers not like Vietnam

2009-12-01 22:06

Washington - Critics say US President Barack Obama's move on Tuesday to send some 30 000 reinforcements to Afghanistan amid waning popular support for the war risks leaving America stuck in a Vietnam-style quagmire.

In reality though the figures don't match up between the current Afghan conflict and the Vietnam War, which ultimately doomed Lyndon Johnson's presidency.

The Vietnam War was the deadliest for the United States after World War II; it killed 60 times more troops than the war in Afghanistan has taken so far and at its height involved eight times more US personnel.

Here are the major armed conflicts the United States has taken part in since 1945, including the maximum number of US troops deployed, the number of casualties reported and the cost of the operation at the time and in inflation-adjusted dollars for 2008.

KOREAN WAR, 1950-1953

TROOPS DEPLOYED: 326 863

KILLED: 36 574

WOUNDED: 103 284

COST: $30bn ($320bn, 2008)

VIETNAM WAR, 1964-1973

TROOPS DEPLOYED: 549 000 (1968)

KILLED: 58 209

WOUNDED: 153 303

COST: $111bn ($686bn, 2008)

GULF WAR, 1990-1991

TROOPS DEPLOYED: 694 550

KILLED: 382

WOUNDED: 467

COST: $61bn ($96bn, 2008)

AFGHANISTAN, 2001-2009

TROOPS DEPLOYED: 70 000 (rising to 100 000 with latest announcement)

KILLED: 929

WOUNDED: 4 334

COST: $171bn (2008)

IRAQ, 2003-2009

TROOPS DEPLOYED: 119 000, now (250 000 during 2003 invasion)

KILLED: 4 367

WOUNDED: 31 557

COST: $648bn (2008)