The number of U.S. military members killed in the war in Afghanistan has surpassed 2,000, with more than half the deaths coming in the past 27 months.
The increased casualty rate came after U.S. President Barack Obama sent thousands of extra troops into the country to intensify the U.S.-led NATO coalition’s battle against insurgents.
Those troops are withdrawing, along with their international counterparts, as Afghan forces take increasing security control ahead of a 2014 deadline for foreign combat troops to leave Afghanistan.
The Afghan army and police have endured a larger number of casualties since the war began in 2001. Statistics dating back to 2007 show more than 6,500 Afghan security forces have been killed.
The United Nations has reported that more than 13,000 Afghan civilians have also died as a result of the conflict since 2007.
U.S. military officials have expressed concern about a recent series of attacks by Afghan forces on international troops that have killed 10 service members, mostly Americans. At least 39 coalition members have been killed in such attacks this year.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey arrived in Afghanistan Monday for talks with NATO and Afghan commanders that focused on the killings.
Afghan militants on Tuesday fired rockets at a plane used by the top U.S. military officer, but a spokeswoman says he was “nowhere near” the aircraft at the time. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.