[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/10/afghanistan.taliban.challenge/art.soldiers.run.afp.gi.jpg caption="A U.S. soldier takes his position near a building attacked by the Taliban south of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday."]
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/10/afghanistan.taliban.challenge/art.mcchrystal.hill.gi.jpg caption="Gen. Stanley McChrystal says the American death toll in Afghanistan will remain high for some time."]
It has been nearly eight years since U.S. forces overthrew the Taliban leaders of Afghanistan, but the war against the Taliban insurgency is bloodier than ever.
The number of Afghan civilians killed in the wake of the war has increased 24 percent in the first six months of this year compared with the same time period last year, according to the United Nations. And NATO and American forces suffered record losses this summer, with 75 troops killed in the month of July, making it the deadliest month for Western troops in the country since American warplanes first began bombing the Taliban in October 2001.
The U.S. death toll will remain high for some time as the Taliban has gained the upper hand, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Monday.
"It's a very aggressive enemy right now," McChrystal told the newspaper in the interview Saturday at his office in Kabul, Afghanistan. "We've got to stop their momentum, stop their initiative. It's hard work."
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