March Was the First Month Since 2003 When No Soldiers Died in Combat

U.S. troops in Afghanistan
U.S. troops stand guard at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on February 20, 2014. Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

For the first time in more than 11 years, no American troops were killed in Afghanistan or Iraq last month, according to information provided by the Department of Defense. That makes March the first month free of U.S. fatalities abroad since February 2003—just before the start of the Iraq War.

It’s also the first month free of American deaths in Operation: Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan since July 2007.

The milestone arrives after military operations claimed the lives of 2,176 U.S. personnel in Afghanistan and 4,474 in Iraq. The last convoy of American troops left Iraq in December 2011. But, as Think Progress notes, that doesn’t mean those conflicts are entirely without violence. Instability continues to threaten Afghan elections, and two allied soldiers were killed last month.

The site has a table showing U.S. military deaths in Iraq by month over the past 11 years. The worst month was November 2004, which had 141 reported deaths:


The worst year for American deaths in Iraq, however, was 2007, which had a death toll of 907, while American deaths in Afghanistan peaked in 2010, with 496.