Dogs and devices sniff out top killer
The U.S. military is on a path toward significantly fewer battlefield deaths in Afghanistan this year because it has become better at detecting the No. 1 killer of U.S. troops: the improvised explosive device (IED).
With the 2009 surge forces leaving the country and Afghan troops preparing to take over more of the fighting, U.S. forces are averaging about 23 fatalities each month. That number would bring the death toll to about 276 this year, compared with 317 in 2009, 499 in 2010 and 418 last year, according to statistics compiled by icasualties.org.