At least 12 NATO troops were killed across Afghanistan today, capping what has turned out to be the deadliest August yet since the war began. At least five US troops were among those killed, though the nationalities of all the slain have not yet been released.
The deaths bring the NATO toll in Afghanistan to 489 this year, just shy of the record toll set in all of 2009. All eight months so far this year have been the deadliest such month in the war, and there is no indication that trend is going to change.
For August the toll was 79 killed, including at least 55 Americans. Again this number may rise as the nationalities of the last few troops remain unidentified. The number is just shy of last month’s 65 US troops killed, which was itself the deadliest month for US troops since the war began.
NATO has claimed “progress” in the war, though these claims seem not to be backed by any of the official figures and seem to fly in the face of the massive death tolls on the ground. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has blasted the current strategy as killing too many civilians, and urged a rethink.