NATO spokesman Brig. Gen. Katz: "We take these incidents very, very seriously. But we must not forget that on the other side we still got almost 500,000 soldiers and policemen who work together, as we speak right now actually...."
A reader wrote in to note another way to assess the rampant murder rate in ISAF: by converting the statistic to murders per 100,000.
While NATO and US defense officials play down the murders of American and other Western forces by their Afghan "partners" and trainees as paltry few incidents among the half a million total security forces in Afghanistan, this week's column argues that the 62 murders we know about in 2012 (it seems likely there were additional unreported incidents) were committed against the estimated 25,000 American and other Western forces who actually do the training and interacting with the 400,000 Afghans in uniform.
That converts to 248 homicides per 100,000.
I found that Wikipedia has an entry on the subject -- a list of regions and countries by intentional homicide rate.
The US rate is 4.2 murders per 100,000. Europe's rate is 3.5. Russia's is 10.2. Even in Africa, the most murderous region, the rate is 17 murders per 100,000. Even in Central American, the most murderous sub-region, the rate is 28.5 murders per 100,000. There are African countries where the rate is over 30, Jamaica tops 50, and in Honduras, the most murderous country in the world, the rate is 91.6.
Afghanistan's rate, meanwhile, is listed as 2.4 -- unless, that is, you are an ISAF trainer-partner, for whom the murder rate in 2012 was 248 per 100,000.
ISAF: Homicide capital of the world.