NATO Chief Predicts Heavier Fighting, More Casualties in Afghanistan

West 'Underestimated' Scale of Afghan War

In an interview with a German newspaper, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen predicted that the NATO forces in Afghanistan would soon face even heavier fighting, and more casualties.

Such predictions are becoming all too common from US and NATO officials after June’s record death toll, which saw 103 NATO troops killed. At least 57 NATO troops have been killed so far in the month of July.

Rasmussen added that “it is undeniable that, at the beginning, the international community underestimated the scale” of the Afghan War. NATO invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and has repeatedly escalated the size of their occupation force, though the war has continued to worsen since then.

Yet Rasmussen insisted that he remains “optimistic” about the war in Afghanistan, nearly nine years later, and claimed that the large number of deaths proved that the war was going well and the Taliban were getting desperate. Unfortunately, it seems Rasmussen will continue to have reason for such “optimism” going forward.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.