07:39 GMT +321 October 2019
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    NATO eFP battle group soldiers wait for NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visit in Tapa military base, Estonia September 6, 2017

    NATO Has No Clue How Many of Its Soldiers Have Died in Its Battles

    © REUTERS / Ints Kalnins
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    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has no idea how many soldiers under its wing have perished on the battlefield, a new report reveals.

    NATO's headquarters were relocated to a new building in Brussels, Belgium, in early May, and part of that process included the relocation of a memorial to the 29-country alliance's fallen warriors. But when pressed on who exactly is among those memorialized, the bloc was totally unequipped to answer.

    That's because NATO keeps no list of people who have died acting under its orders.

    NATO officials defer to member nations when the question is posed, according to the Associated Press. 

    The monument was first unveiled in 2009, at a time when NATO was leading operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the largest operation the organization has ever carried out.

    Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, at the time NATO's secretary-general, said the monument would be a "permanent reminder — not just that they gave their lives so that we could enjoy ours — but also of the consequences of the decisions that we take in this building."

    Since NATO took over operations in Afghanistan two years after the US' 2001 invasion, 3,500 allied soldiers have died. However, not all of them were working with NATO.


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    NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO
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