43 U.S. Troops Have Died in Afghanistan Since Gen. McChrystal Called for Reinforcements

A U.S. Marine pays his respects to a fallen comrade at a memorial service on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009, in Helmand province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo)
(CNSNews.com) – Another American died in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the final day of September--and exactly one month after the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan sent a confidential war assessment to the Obama administration, warning that more forces are needed--soon.

The as-yet-unnamed American serviceman who died on Wednesday was caught in a suicide attack in Khost Province, in eastern Afghanistan, press reports said.

On August 30, Gen. Stanley McChrystal sent Defense Secretary Robert Gates a war assessment in which he said more U.S. troops--and a new U.S. strategy--are needed if the U.S. is to defeat the insurgents in Afghanistan.

Since that Aug. 30 date, a total of 43 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have died in a war that is now the subject of much discussion--and apparently some confusion--in Washington. Forty-two of those casualties have been identified by name in U.S. Defense Department press releases (see below), while the 43rd casualty, which occurred today, has been confirmed in press reports, but not by name.

In his confidential report, which was leaked to the Washington Post on Sept. 21, Gen. McChrystal warned that defeating the insurgents will not be possible if the United States fails to "gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum" over the next 12 months.

McChrystal reportedly has prepared a separate request for tens of thousands of additional U.S. troops to be sent to the 68,000 already in Afghanistan.

Since Sept. 21, when the Washington Post leaked information from McChrystal’s confidential report, the White House has been on the defensive over its Afghanistan strategy.

As CNSNews.com reported on Tuesday, Barack Obama campaigned on a promise to reinforce U.S. troops in Afghanistan, which he described as war we “have to win.