Sharp surge in US troops injuries
October has been "deadliest month" in Afghanistan
Over 1,000 U.S. troops have been wounded in battle over the past three months in Afghanistan.
This number comprises one-fourth of injured combatants since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.
The dramatic increase in amputees and other seriously injured service members comes as October marks the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
To see video footage of injured troops speaking, go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2009/10/30/VI2009103003186.html
Expanded military operations, a near-doubling of the number of troops since the beginning of the year and a Taliban offensive that has included a proliferation of roadside bombings have led to the great increase in casualties. U.S. troops in Afghanistan are suffering wounds at a higher rate than those who were serving inIraq when violence spiraled during the military "surge" two years ago. In mid-2007, 600 U.S. troops were wounded in Iraq each month out of about 150,000 troops deployed there. In Afghanistan, about 68,000 troops are currently installed, with about 350 wounded each month recently.
Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell acknowledged that the casualties in Afghanistan have surpassed Iraq surge proportions and noted that the violence in Afghanistan is directed more against U.S. and other coalition forces, whereas it was heavily sectarian in Iraq. "It shows you how we are the targets and how effectively they are targeting us," Morrell said.
He noted that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has become concerned about the rising number of wounded and has ordered thousands of additional support troops to Afghanistan to look for, and minimize, the roadside bombs.
* For an interesting analysis of the war in Afghanistan being costly and pointless for Americans and Canadians, see: http://willblogforfood.typepad.com/will_blog_for_food/2009/10/war-in-afghanistan-pointless-and-costly.html
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