(Newsroom America) -- July was the deadliest month so far this year for U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan, nearly a year and a half before a planned American and NATO withdrawal from the war-torn country.
July's total - 40 - was on par with summer months, considered the peak of the fighting season, in recent years. According to Associated Press figures, the three previous records also occurred during the summer: August 2011, 71 deaths; July 2010, 65 deaths; June 2010, 60 deaths.
So far this year, according to AP figures, at least 219 servicemembers have been killed in war-related violence, bringing the total to 1,961 U.S. personnel during the 11-year-old conflict.
"Casualties rose steadily each year before reaching a peak in 2010 when 492 personnel were killed," AP reported. Casualty figures have declined slightly since.
In the past two years, however, insurgents seem to have changed tactics somewhat. While fighters continue to attack U.S. and NATO forces using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), Taliban loyalists are increasingly striking at allied forces from within Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army ranks, which are called "green-on-blue" attacks.
NATO says 34 allied troops have been killed by insider attacks so far this year.
The U.S. has already begun to draw down forces, from a peak of 103,000 last year to a planned 68,000 by October.
© 2012 Newsroom America.