Last month, eleven U.S. military personnel died in combat (one in
Afghanistan and ten in Iraq.) This is the lowest monthly deaths since before
the Iraq invasion. It's the lowest death rate for Afghanistan since July 2002
(when there were no deaths.) For 2008, the monthly death toll (from combat) has
averaged about 24. Since 2001, about a thousand foreign troops have died in
Afghanistan, about a third of them from non-combat causes (usually vehicle
drop in NATO and U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan is attributed to the
successful campaign against Taliban leadership. This has been going on for over
a year, and has severely disrupted Taliban operations. In addition, Pakistan
has been waging a major campaign against the Taliban just across the border,
and this has caused some Afghan Taliban to move into Pakistan to help their fellow
terrorists avoid getting destroyed. It's also the start of the Winter season,
when the less well equipped (in terms of Winter clothing, air transportation
and other gear necessary for cold weather operations) Taliban are at a
disadvantage. The Taliban aren't out as much in the nasty weather, and NATO and
U.S. troops can hunt the enemy at less risk to themselves.
end of the Surge Offensive earlier this year, violence in Iraq has dropped over
80 percent, and remained low. Al Qaeda and other Sunni terrorist organizations
have been defeated, and operations since then have concentrated on hunting down
the diehard terrorists who appear determined to fight on until they are killed.
Increased numbers, of better trained and led, Iraqi security forces have also
taken a lot of the combat load off U.S. troops.