At least seven NATO troops were killed today in several incidents across Afghanistan, bringing the monthly toll for November to 34, already the deadliest November on record, though the month is not even half over.
The deaths included three NATO troops killed in a single clash with insurgents in the eastern portion of the country. The nationalities of the slain were not released by NATO, but the Danish government confirmed that one of those slain in Helmand was from Denmark.
The violence adds more punctuation to a 2010 which has been by far the deadliest on record since the 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan. The timing is particularly inconvenient for the ever enthusiastic supporters of the conflict in NATO’s command structure, as the Lisbon Summit on Afghanistan is just days away.
The Lisbon Summit is unlikely to net any major policy changes from the alliance, though it is expected to be the formal announcement of some measure of Russian involvement in the struggling war. It seems though most nations are willing to keep the conflict going more or less indefinitely to avoid a clash with the US, it also appears that few are willing to commit any additional troops, and most expect that the 2011 troop levels will be roughly the same as the 2010 levels. Whether this translates to more record death tolls, however, remains to be seen.