For those 33,000 troops in Afghanistan, for the first time now, life has become more dangerous than in Iraq.
While U.S. hostile fire fatalities in Iraq last month dropped to their lowest level since December, the news has been far grimmer coming out of Afghanistan. In terms of enemy fire, May 2008 was the second deadliest month of the war since hostilities began in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11. This also marked the end of the deadliest 12-month period for U.S. troops in combat in Afghanistan since the war began nearly seven years ago.
14 Americans were killed by hostile fire in Afghanistan last month (equal to the same number killed in June 2006). The deadliest month of combat in Afghanistan for U.S. troops was in June 2005 when 25 died–16 in a single helicopter shoot-down.
While 14 hostile fire fatalities may not seem significant when compared to the fighting in Iraq, there are two facts that we must take into consideration: