Even though August marked the end of combat missions in Iraq, the US forces suffered 17 casualties – making August the deadliest month since May of 2009, when there were 24 casualties. Additionally, there are “currently 49,700 troops in Iraq and this number will remain at this level through next summer,” says the commander in Iraq Gen. Ray Odierno. Further, the US mission name in Iraq changed from “Operation Iraqi Freedom” to “Operation New Dawn.”
In Afghanistan, the US forces suffered 55 casualties in August. For the first time in the Afghanistan War, the number of casualties [,pdf] for the past 3 months have been above 54 – marking June, July, and August as the deadliest period of the war with 179 casualties.