Tom Holmes’ essay “Soul Searching about Afghanistan” [Forest Park Review, Sept. 29] mentions death in one section.

“In the last six years, 100 military personnel were killed there. That’s 17 a year.”

Seventeen is not the number to have in one’s mind when conducting soul searching about Afghanistan.

A few seconds with Google yields the following from the Watson Institute at Brown University (

“At least 801,000 people have been killed by direct war violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Pakistan. The number of people who have been wounded or have fallen ill as a result of the conflicts is far higher, as is the number of civilians who have died indirectly as a result of the destruction of hospitals and infrastructure and environmental contamination, among other war-related problems. … More than 387,000 civilians have been killed in the fighting since 2001.”

Frank Hansen

Oak Park