Eclipsing last month’s record, 63 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan with another day remaining in July. Over 1,200 American soldiers have died since the onset of the war in 2001, and the cost of the war has now risen above $286 billion.
In Pakistan, the latest Pew poll of 2,000 adults revealed a number of insightful statistics:
Approximately 60% of Pakistanis view America as an enemy, while only 10% view it as a partner
51% are somewhat or extremely concerned about extremists taking over the government, compared to 69% last year
38% view Al-Qaida as a serious threat, compared to 61% last year
54% view the Taliban as a serious threat, compared to 73% last year
18% view Al-Qaida favorably, compared to 9% last year
Of the Pakistanis who are aware of Drone attacks, 93% believe they are a bad thing, 90% believe they kill too many innocents, and 49% believe they are being executed without the approval of their government
Poll numbers suggesting a negative perception of the United States, an extremely high antipathy toward U.S. drone attacks, and an increasingly positive view of Al-Qaida, combined with the recent WikiLeaks revelations of likely collusion between Pakistani intelligence and the Taliban, should raise serious questions about the viability of U.S.-Pakistan relations in the War on Terror.
And in Afghanistan, civilian and military leaders continue to warn of escalating casualty numbers as 100,000 U.S. troops and a smaller NATO contingent meet stiffer Taliban resistance.