U.S. military expects more troop deaths, body bags next year

Posted Dec 7, 2009 by Andrew Moran
United States President Barack Obama's surge strategy in Afghanistan has now made military officials expectant of an increase in deaths by next year.
In war, when there are more troops then there are likely to be more deaths. This will be the case in the war in Afghanistan, at least according to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, who is expecting an increase in body bags next year, reports Press TV.
Mullen told 700 troops who were deploying for Afghanistan on Monday, “I am sure we will sustain an increase in the level of casualties, and I don't want to be in any way unclear about that. This is what happened in Iraq during the surge and as tragic as it is, to turn this thing around, it will be a part of this surge as well.”
The extra 30,000 troops being added will bring the total number of US combat forces in the region to just over 100,000. In 2009, 300 US soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, which nearly doubles the amount in 2008.
Colonel Joseph Chozinski, head of the Heathe N. Craig Joint Theater Hospital, said, reports AFP, “Forty thousand more troops means 40,000 more targets at risk.”
Nevertheless, Mullen, who also said last week that the July 2011 will see only a “few” troops being withdrawn, feels the Afghanistan-Pakistan border is the main front in the global war on terror.
According to CBS, the thoughts of soldiers were mainly on the roles of Pakistan and NATO in fighting the Taliban. The US General responded that Pakistan has done a tremendous job in counterterrorism but forewarned them that Pakistan is a sovereign state and the US wants to maintain a long-term relationship with the country who shares a border with Afghanistan.
Last week, the White House authorized the CIA of intensifying unmanned drones in the region, therefore, expanding the war into Pakistan.
Mullen concluded his speech, “I expect a tough fight in 2010.”