With over four months to go, the record violence of 2008 is starting to seem like a pleasant memory compared to the soaring level of NATO death tolls, which today past all of 2008 when four US soldiers were killed in the ever worsening security situation.
The current toll for the year is 295 NATO soldiers killed, most of which have been US though the death toll for British troops has also spiked this year, leading to growing criticism of the war in both countries despite the determination of their respective governments to keep the war going.
And while Admiral Mullen conceded that the situation is “deteriorating,” one can hardly call the situation surprising. As early as October of last year the admiral was predicting that this year’s violence would surpass last year’s.
It does lead to questions about the viability of the Obama Administration’s escalation of the war, which doesn’t appear to be netting anything but failure and which commanders are already saying isn’t big enough. It must likewise be damaging to the administration’s “new” strategy, which seems to be yielding the same old results: record breaking violence every month.