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US Contemplates Strategy Change; August Deadliest Month in Afghanistan

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The White House says U.S. President Barack Obama will review a new U.S. military report on the war in Afghanistan this week.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that President Obama will take some form of the report with him to the presidential retreat at Camp David, in the U.S. state of Maryland, where he is vacationing later this week.

The much-anticipated review comes from the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal.

Gibbs indicated the classified document does not include a specific request for more U.S. troops or other resources, though that could come later.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military says an American soldier died Tuesday after being wounded in a bomb attack Monday in southern Afghanistan.

Two other U.S. troops were killed Monday, ending the deadliest month for U.S. forces in Afghanistan since the Taliban-led government was ousted in 2001.

At least 47 U.S. service members were killed in August. Forty-four were killed the previous month.

General McChrystal says the situation in Afghanistan is serious, but the eight-year-old war can still be won.

The general submitted his report Monday. He said the United States and its allies will need to change strategy and boost cooperation to turn around the battle against Taliban and al-Qaida militants. McChrystal urged an expansion of Afghan security forces and a revamped counter-insurgency strategy.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters while in the southern U.S. state of Texas Monday that he is looking forward to seeing the general's assessment.

Gates said a lot of positive things are happening in Afghanistan, but that higher casualties are expected as coalition forces invade Taliban strongholds.

 
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