The number of American servicemembers who have died in the Iraq war since March 2003 has climbed to 4,452, according to new statistics released today by the Associated Press. And the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the climate in Iraq is growing increasingly dangerous because militants have stepped up their attacks on U.S. troops and bases:
Who's behind the attacks? It's not exactly clear, although the WSJ surmises there's a strong likelihood al-Qaeda in Iraq has something to do with the increased violence. U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, a spokesman for the U.S. forces in Iraq, told the WSJ:
Indeed, the violence comes at a time when U.S. military officials are trying to figure out whether to keep American forces in Iraq past the December 31, 2011 deadline required by the Status of Forces Agreement. That agreement was signed by Iraq and the United States in 2008.