UMW Professor Jason Davidson speaks to The Guardian about ‘Costs of War’ in AfghanistanMay 12, 20212 min read
As America readies to end its military presence in Afghanistan, there’s been much reflection and examining of the role America and its NATO allies played in the war-torn country.
A report released just this week shed some light and much-needed perspective on the topic. University of Mary Washington Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson, the study's author, was contacted by The Guardian to lend his expert opinion.
“British and Canadian troops were more than twice as likely to get killed in Afghanistan as their US counterparts, according to a study that looks at the scale of the sacrifice made by Nato allies over the course of the 20-year war.
The UK also gave more to Afghanistan than the US in the form of economic and humanitarian assistance as a percentage of GDP, the study published on Wednesday by the Costs of War project at Brown University in the US found.
Although the US suffered by far the greatest number of fatalities in absolute terms compared with other members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) – 2,316 American troops were killed between 2001 and 2017, the period of the study – Canadians and British soldiers sent to Afghanistan were more likely to die.
The Costs of War report looks at fatalities as a percentage of national troop levels at peak deployment in Afghanistan. The US losses were 2.3% of its vast military presence. The UK lost 455 lives, which was 4.7% of its peak deployment level, while the 158 Canadians killed represented 5.4% of their total.
The study refers to a grim joke told by American soldiers in Afghanistan that ISAF stood for “I Saw Americans Fight”, but points out in the case of the UK and Canada at least it was grossly unfair.
“Americans do not fully understand, do not acknowledge, the sacrifices that allies made in Afghanistan,” said Jason Davidson, the author of the report, and professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington.
“It’s something that not only doesn’t get attention from those who are critics of the allies. It doesn’t even get the attention that it deserves from those who are generally cheerleaders for allies, like the current administration. I would like to see more American policymaker acknowledgment and discussion with the public of the costs that America’s allies have incurred in these wars.” May 12 - The Guardian
There will be a lot of coverage in the lead up to America’s exit from Afghanistan, and if you are a reporter looking to cover that topic or the ‘Costs of War’ project, then let us help.
Dr. Jason Davidson is a professor of Political Science and International Affairs and is also an expert in American Foreign and Security Policy, and International Security. If you’re looking to arrange an interview with Dr. Davidson, simply click on his icon now to arrange an interview today.
Jason Davidson Professor of Political Science and International Affairs
Dr. Davidson is a specialist in American Foreign and Security Policy, and International Security.