The U.S. military has moved an aircraft carrier from the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea to further support its operations in Afghanistan.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Tuesday the Acting Commander of U.S. Central Command, Lieutenant General Martin Dempsey, made the decision in terms of available assets and where they could be most useful.
Gates said the move is part of the U.S. commitment to ensure that commanders have the resources available to be successful in Afghanistan over the long term.
Also Tuesday, unnamed U.S. Navy officials said the shift away from Iraq comes after the number of foreign troop casualties in Afghanistan topped those in Iraq for two consecutive months.
June was the deadliest month for foreign forces in Afghanistan since 2001, with at least 45 of them killed, compared with 31 in Iraq.
Meanwhile, NATO says one of its soldiers was killed and four others wounded Tuesday when a roadside bomb struck a convoy in the eastern province of Kunar.
Separately, in the central province of Ghazni, officials say at least two Afghan policemen were killed in fighting with Taliban insurgents. Five insurgents are believed to have died.
Afghan and international forces frequently clash with militants loyal to the Taliban, an extremist Islamist group that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.
US Moves Aircraft Carrier to Support Afghan Operation