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Sep 12th, 2008

GI Slain in Afghanistan Makes ‘08 Deadliest Yet

U.S. soldier killed, bringing death toll to 112 this year

September 11, 2009

KABUL, Afghanistan — An insurgent attack on an eastern compound killed a U.S. soldier on Thursday, bringing the year’s death toll to 112 and making 2008 the deadliest for American forces in Afghanistan since the U.S. invaded the country in response to the Sept. 11 attacks. …

Afghanistan was the launching pad for al-Qaida’s terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. In response, U.S. forces invaded in October 2001 and drove the Taliban out of power in a matter of weeks.

Once derided as a ragtag insurgency after the fall of their regime, Taliban fighters have transformed into a fighting force advanced enough to mount massive conventional attacks. Suicide and roadside bombs have turned bigger and deadlier than ever.

The number of Arab, Chechen and Uzbek militants flowing into the Afghan-Pakistan theater has increased this year, bringing with them command expertise the Taliban had lacked in previous years. …

Thursday’s death brings to 112 the number of troops who have died in Afghanistan this year, surpassing last year’s record toll of 111. Some 33,000 U.S. troops are now stationed in the country, the highest level since 2001. …


Related story

Pentagon Official: Afghan Strategy Not Working

September 10, 2009

WASHINGTON — A top Pentagon official conceded Wednesday that coalition forces are not winning the battle against an increasingly deadly insurgency in Afghanistan, adding that the U.S. would revise its strategy for the region to include militant safe havens in neighboring Pakistan.

“I’m not convinced we are winning in Afghanistan. I am convinced we can,” Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in sobering testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee. The testimony came nearly seven years after U.S.-led forces toppled Afghanistan’s former Taliban regime following the Sept. 11 attacks. …

“We cannot kill our way to victory…” Mullen said.


Iraq update

The Associated Press reports:

Shiite followers of anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demonstrated in Baghdad and the southern city of Kufa against plans for a U.S.-Iraqi security agreement that will determine the status of the U.S. military in Iraq after the current U.N. mandate expires at the end of the year.

In Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood, Sheik Abdul Hadi al-Mohammadawi, an al-Sadr aide, told worshippers during prayers that it is a “suspicious agreement” that would bring “humiliation and degradation to the Iraqi people.”

After the prayers, worshippers burned American and Israeli flags and chanted: “No, America, no! No, agreement, no!”

Associated Press file photo

In Kufa, al-Sadr supporters carried banners, including one that said: “We won’t accept Iraq being an American colony!” Another said: “The suspicious agreement means the permanent occupation of Iraq.”

3 Responses to “‘08 Deadliest for US”
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