The good news is deaths are declining in Iraq, the bad news is just as those go down, the number of international troops killed in Afghanistan has risen. In fact, June marked the second straight month in which deaths of coalition and US forces exceeded those fighting in Iraq. Defense Secretary Robert Gates blames the death rise in Afghanistan on the Iraq situation, but most experts believe we are witnessing a stronger and more well organized militancy in Afghanistan that is able to gain power due to the ineffectual government of President Karzai. There were 45 deaths of coalition troops in June including 27 Americans and 12 British soldiers. For example, in Ghazni province, a Taliban rocket attack destroyed a Humvee with the loss of three American soldiers.
Mustafa Alani, of the Gulf Research Center, says, “I think possible we’ve reached a new turning point. Insurgents are now more active, more organized and the political environment whether in Pakistan or Afghanistan favors insurgent activities. The bottom line is the lack of a short or long term plan of action on dealing with insurgency in Afghanistan. Is anyone in charge is the terrifying question to pose.