500th US Death a Troubling Omen in Afghan War

'Other' war claims 500 lives, now deadlier than Iraq conflict
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2008 5:11 AM CDT
U.S. Marines, from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, patrol in the town of Garmser in Helmand Province of Afghanistan Monday, July 7, 2008.    (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
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(Newser) – The 500th American died in Afghanistan last month and the grim milestone has helped bring the conflict back to the forefront of the nation's consciousness, the New York Times writes. Afghanistan has long been overshadowed by the Iraq war, but enemy action killed over three times as many Americans in Afghanistan than Iraq last month and analysts warn the outlook is bleak.

Accidents killed more Americans than enemy action in the early years of the conflict, but the balance changed in 2005 as the Taliban regrouped. US troop rates are now at their highest level since the war began, and the steady stream of casualties is begining to make the "other war" a priority. “There's a real war going on,” said one man whose brother died in a Taliban ambush last fall. “People are dying all the time in Afghanistan.”