DEATH TOLL

July Bloodiest Month in Afghanistan

Sad news from Afghanistan: July was the deadliest month for Americans and their foreign allies since the war began. Seventy-two foreigners—43 of them American—died in July, largely from roadside bombs. Twenty-two British soldiers also died, marking the highest death toll for the nation's troops since the Falklands War in 1980. The high number of deaths is the result of the recent American offensive, and the growing U.S. troop build-up, which will reach 68,000 by the end of the year. Fighting was especially bloody because U.S. troops are trying to secure the country by the August 20 presidential election—which the Taliban is trying to disrupt. The bloodiest month had previously been July 2008, in which only 28 U.S. soldiers died.