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War Is Boring: Afghanistan Casualties Could Portend British Pull-out

Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009

On Thursday morning, a bomb exploded in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan, injuring a British soldier. Two days later, the soldier died at a hospital in Great Britain. He was the 200th U.K. fatality in the eight-year-old Afghanistan war. British newspapers marked the milestone with a flurry of grim news reports. And in short order, fighting claimed four more British troops.

Great Britain has around 9,000 troops in Afghanistan -- the biggest national contingent, after the U.S. British forces are concentrated in the restive south, especially in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the U.K. military had "more than stepped up" in Afghanistan, in contrast to other NATO armies, that mostly keep their forces confined to heavily fortified bases. ...

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