U.S. death toll in Afghanistan hits 2,000

Aug. 22, 2012 at 4:05 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The number of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan has more than doubled since President Obama took office, The New York Times reports.

One thousand members of the U.S. Army and Marines were killed in the nine years after the 2001 invasion, the newspaper said. The toll hit 2,000 last week when Specialist James A. Justice died of wounds in an Army hospital in Germany.

The Times figures are based on an analysis of Defense Department statistics. The newspaper included U.S. deaths in Pakistan in operations aimed at aiding the Afghanistan effort.

In 2010, Obama decided to send an additional 33,000 U.S. military members to Afghanistan. The surge increased the intensity of the fight there, and the number of U.S. casualties jumped.

The Times said 90 percent of recent casualties have been enlisted men, three-quarters are white and about half have been killed in Kandahar and Helmand provinces, the area in southern Afghanistan where the Taliban are strongest. The Marines have taken heavier casualties than the Army.

The period with the heaviest death toll since the surge was in July, August and September of 2010, when 143 U.S. soldiers were killed. This year, at least 39 non-Afghans, most of them U.S. soldiers, have been killed by Afghans wearing police or military uniforms.

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