Today, on the eleventh anniversary of the start of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, it is important to remember who is doing the work of this war and who is dying.
Last year, Michael Zweig, Michael Porter, and Yuxiang Huang completed a preliminary study of American military deaths in Afghanistan and the communities they came from. Here are a couple of their conclusions:
Nearly half (43 percent) of casualties came from large metropolitan core cities and their surrounding suburbs. Casualties came disproportionately from counties with lower than median income, but not particularly from poor areas. Contrary to expectations that come from the idea of an “economic draft,” we find that casualty counties have about the same or sometimes significantly lower rates of poverty and unemployment than average, suggesting that relative lack of local economic opportunity is not typical of counties from which Afghan war casualties have come. . .
Americans who have died in Afghanistan are disproportionately white and Na- tive American working class young people with no more than a high school education.