Afghanistan war claims lives of relatively fewer Minnesotans


Last night, President Barack Obama laid out his plan for winning an eight-year-old war left to him by the Bush administration. This morning, The Humphrey Institute's Smart Politics blog crunched some numbers and found that, even though the conflict in Afghanistan is turning into one of the longest overseas engagements ever for the U.S. military, Minnesota's sons and daughters have perished there at a far lesser rate than those of many other states.

Writes Eric Ostermeier:

Minnesota -- and its neighboring states of Iowa and Wisconsin -- all rank among the bottom 10 states in terms of per capita fatalities in the war. Minnesota is ranked #43 (2.11 per 1 million residents) with Wisconsin at #42 (2.13) and Iowa at #44 (2.00).

Maine leads all states in the number of troop deaths per capita, with 9.2, while Rhode Island has the fewest, with 0.95.

In all, 929 American military personnel have died in the conflict, which was launched in October 2001 in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that year. The most deaths to date, 91, have come from California. The least, one each, have come from Delaware, Vermont and Rhode Island.

Obama announced on Tuesday that he was sending another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan to bring the total to 100,000.