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Aug 1st, 2008

On the 18th day of my campaign — on a day five soldiers were reported killed in Afghanistan — I address the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and economic indicators showing the U.S. has begun to slide into recession.



Blasts Kill Five NATO Soldiers in Afghanistan
Violence spreading to once-stable provinces

Aug. 1, 2008

KABUL, Afghanistan — Roadside bombs killed five NATO troops in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, as 100 aid groups warned that violence in the country was spreading to once-stable regions and hindering humanitarian efforts.

The soldiers’ deaths marked a bloody start to the month in what’s already been a deadly year for U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, where a Taliban-led insurgency is raging nearly seven years after their fundamentalist Muslim regime was ousted in a U.S.-led invasion.

Four of the NATO soldiers and a civilian died in Kunar province Friday, the alliance said in a statement. The fifth soldier death was in Khost, another eastern province. The alliance did not release the nationalities of the soldiers. However, most of the troops in those areas are American. …

[The Afghanistan NGO Safety Office] recently reported there were 2,056 insurgent attacks in the six months through June, a 52 percent increase from the same period of 2007. The report … also said that 19 aid workers have been killed so far this year, compared to 15 in all of 2007.

[The Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief] said initial estimates suggest more than 260 civilians were killed in July alone, higher than any other month in the last six years.

The statement also said that in the south violence has forced the closure of a large number of schools and health facilities, and “has caused significant levels of internal displacement.” …



More Arrows Seen Pointing to a Recession

By Peter S. Goodman

August 1, 2008


The American economy expanded more slowly than expected from April to June, the government reported Thursday, while numbers for the last three months of 2007 were revised downward to show a contraction — the first official slide backward since the last recession in 2001. …

As the impact of the rebate checks continues to wear off in the coming weeks, households will be left confronting the same set of troubles that have been dragging on the economy for many months: a deteriorating job market, rising prices for food and gas and plummeting housing values. …

With the last three months of 2007 now officially revised down — from an initial 0.6 percent annual rate of growth to a 0.2 percent decline — many economists expect that these tough times will officially be declared a recession. That label is affixed by a panel of economists at a private research institution, the National Bureau of Economic Research, though typically well after the fact. …

3 Responses to “On the Campaign Trail: Day 18”
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