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Military expert predicts 300-500 U.S. troops will be killed or wounded each month as Afghan war escalates.

By Zaid Jilani  

"Military expert predicts 300-500 U.S. troops will be killed or wounded each month as Afghan war escalates."

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soldierLast month, President Obama announced that he would send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. Shortly after the decision was made, General David Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, warned of increased violence in the Central Asian country as the new troops arrived. Now, retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who teaches international affairs at West Point and who has repeatedly visited Afghanistan to assess the situation there, is estimating that American casualties could go as high as “300 to 500 killed and wounded a month by next summer”:

Americans should prepare to accept hundreds of U.S. casualties each month in Afghanistan during spring offensives with enemy forces.

The dire forecast was made by retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, an adjunct professor of international affairs at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, in a periodic assessment of political and security issues he has conducted in the war zone since 2003.

“What I want to do is signal that this thing is going to be $5 billion to $10 billion a month and 300 to 500 killed and wounded a month by next summer. That’s what we probably should expect. And that’s light casualties,” said McCaffrey, who is also president of his own consulting firm in Arlington, Va., and has conducted numerous trips to the war zones to assess the political and military challenges at hand.

2009 was the deadliest year for U.S. troops in Afghanistan, with 312 soldiers losing their lives.

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