Burden of war in Afghanistan shifts even more to U.S.: paper

08:07, August 02, 2010      

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U.S. troops who account for about two-thirds of the NATO force in Afghanistan make up more than two-thirds of July's Western military fatalities, a newspaper report said on Sunday.

The rising fatalities suffered by U.S. troops indicate that the burden of war in Afghanistan shifts even more to the U.S., the Los Angeles Times said in a dispatch from the war-torn country.

For American troops, July was the deadliest month of the nearly 9-year-old war in Afghanistan. At least 66 U.S. service members were killed, surpassing what had been a record 60 American fatalities in the previous month.

The means of death were as varied as the hazards of war: helicopter crashes, firefights, ambushes and sniper fire and homemade bombs, the paper said.

"But the pattern of combat deaths in July pointed up an overarching truth that is likely to endure as the conflict grinds onward: More and more each day, this is an American war," the paper noted.

With their numbers approaching 100,000 as a consequence of the troop buildup ordered by President Barack Obama in December, U.S. troops now comprise about two-thirds of the NATO force in Afghanistan. And American deaths are commensurate with that dominance, accounting for more than two-thirds of Western military fatalities in July, the paper said, citing figures provided by icasualties.com, an independent website.

With NATO allies distancing themselves from the notion of an open-ended stay in Afghanistan, the American aspect of the war comes increasingly to the fore.

Due to unmistakable anti-war sentiment at home, more and more NATO allies are considering pulling out of Afghanistan, putting further pressure on U.S. forces, the paper said. In the United States, the rapidly rising combat toll in Afghanistan is feeding congressional doubts about the war's aims, said the paper.

Source: Xinhua


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