Afghanistan War Costs More Than 1,000 U.S. Service Members' Lives

Military officials warn casualties will rise with summer troop surge.

ByABC News
May 28, 2010, 2:44 AM

WASHINGTON, May 28, 2010 -- The U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, launched in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, reached a milestone today as reports of one more service member killed in the conflict raised the total number of U.S. military deaths in and around Afghanistan to 1,000.

According to the Pentagon, 1,000 service members have been killed in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan since combat operations began in the region nearly nine years ago. This includes 15 service members killed in Pakistan and one in Uzbekistan.

More U.S. service members have died in the Afghanistan theater than any other part of the military's broad worldwide counterterrorism mission known as Operation Enduring Freedom .

According to a press statement, a service member died today following an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in southern Afghanistan. The statement did not identify the victim's nationality, but a U.S. spokesman said that the service member was American.

The milestone of 1,000 deaths resulting from the broader operation that launched the "war on terror" was reached in March of this year. Although the bulk of fatalities occurred in Afghanistan, that total also included the deaths of U.S. service members in countries ranging from Djibouti to the Philippines, reflecting the global nature of the mission.

"Every single casualty affects people. It affects leaders, but more importantly it affects families, it affects children, it affects parents, spouses. So each one of them is sacred," Gen. Stanley McChrystal told reporters earlier this month.

McChrystal is the senior commander of all NATO forces in Afghanistan.

"The force is strong," he said. " The force believes in the cause. The force understands that what we're doing is important. But casualties are something that I hope that the American people will keep in their minds as -- and their hearts," he said.

McChrystal and other officials have warned that the number of fatalities in the Afghanistan conflict will continue to rise as the United States sends more troops to take on al Qaeda and Taliban strongholds in that country. The Obama administration ordered in an additional 30,000 U.S. forces to Afghanistan in December to implement McChrystal's new strategy to enhance security across the country.