- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
As we approach the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, August saw two significant milestones in the wars launched by the United States since that day. In Iraq, August was the first month that no U.S. troops were killed since the initial invasion in 2003. CNN reports:
A total of 4,464 American troops have died in Iraq since the invasion, including 56 since the United States declared an end of combat operations exactly a year ago, according to a CNN analysis of Pentagon statistics.
But none died in August, either due to hostile action or from accidents.
In Afghanistan, on the other hand, August was sadly the deadliest month yet. From the L.A. Times:
Sixty-seven U.S. troops died last month in the Afghanistan war, nearly half of them killed when the Taliban shot down a Chinook helicopter, making August the deadliest month for Americans in the nearly decadelong conflict.
The attack on the helicopter, which took place Aug. 6 in Wardak province, west of the capital, was also the deadliest single event of the war for U.S. forces. The 30 service members who lost their lives in the attack — the majority of them Navy SEALs, including some from the unit responsible for killing Osama bin Laden — were flying in to help Army Rangers under fire.
Previously the most deadly month for American forces in Afghanistan was July 2010, when 65 troops died, according to the independent website icasualties.org, which tracks casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In total, 6,219 U.S. troops have been killed in both wars.