Friday, July 31, 2009

Wire: US Troops Killed in Deadliest Month of War in Afghanistan

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2009 -- Newswire services today reported that a U.S. servicemember was killed as the deadliest month for foreign troops in the Afghanistan war drew to a close, the U.S. military said on Friday.

Reuters news service said the death in southern Afghanistan brought to 40 the number of U.S. troops killed in July, by far the heaviest monthly toll in the 8-year-old war. The worst previous month for U.S. forces was in September 2008, when 26 were killed.

The latest death occurred in a firefight with insurgents in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, the U.S. military said, without giving further details. At least 70 foreign troops have been killed in July.

Casualties spiked after thousands of U.S. Marines this month launched major operations in southern Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold and the center of Afghanistan's opium production.

The Helmand operations are the first under U.S. President Barack Obama's new strategy in Afghanistan.

Recently, President Barack Obama said "victory" in Afghanistan country isn't necessarily the United States' goal.

In a factually incorrect comparison, Obama told ABC News, "I'm always worried about using the word 'victory,' because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur."

General MacArthur accepted the Japanese surrender from representatives of the the Empire of Japan who signed the 'Japanese Instrument of Surrender' in Tokyo Bay aboard the USS Missouri. Emperor Hirohito was never there.

(Report from newswire sources.)

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