KABUL, Afghanistan — The American military death toll in Afghanistan reached 1,000 at a time when President Obama’s strategy to turn back the Taliban is facing its greatest test — an ambitious campaign to win over a disgruntled population in the insurgents’ southern heartland.
More casualties are expected when the campaign kicks into high gear this summer. The results may determine the outcome of a nearly nine-year conflict that became “Obama’s war” after he decided to shift the fight against Islamist militancy from Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where Afghan insurgents find sanctuary.
The grim milestone was reached in a roadside bombing just before the Memorial Day weekend.
The NATO statement did not identify the victim or give the nationality of the service member killed Friday in southern Afghanistan. U.S. spokesman Col. Wayne Shanks said the trooper was American — the 32nd U.S. war death this month by an Associated Press count.
Already the new focus on the once-forgotten Afghan war has come at a heavy price. More than 430 of the U.S. dead were killed after Obama took office in January 2009. The number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan has now surpassed the total in Iraq — roughly 94,000 in Afghanistan compared with 92,000 in Iraq, where the war is winding down.
Friday, May 28, 2010
US toll passes 1,000 deaths in Afghanistan.
A sad milestone and a reminder that we're in the midst of two wars. From Army Times: