At least 334 U.S. soldiers died from combat in Iraq from October to the end of January, the most of any four-month period to date. Battles in Baghdad have grown more frequent and roadside bombs have gotten more sophisticated and powerful, yet the president is as determined as ever to send more Americans into what Chuck Hagel called “that grinder.”
More American troops were killed in combat in Iraq over the past four months - at least 334 through Jan. 31 - than in any comparable stretch since the war began, according to an Associated Press analysis of casualty records.
Not since the bloody battle for Fallujah in 2004 has the death toll spiked so high.
The reason is that U.S. soldiers and Marines are fighting more battles in the streets of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and other cities. And while hostile forces are using a variety of weaponry, the top killer is the roadside bomb.