The second-ranking U.S. commander in Afghanistan says casualties suffered by Afghan security forces have reached a level that cannot be sustained in a successful fight against the Taliban.
Lieutenant General Joseph Anderson told reporters at the Pentagon by video from his headquarters in Kabul on November 5 that the number of Afghan soldiers and police officers killed in battle rose by 6.5 percent so far this year compared to 2013.
Anderson said that "those numbers are not sustainable in the long term."
The toll increased even though the number of attacks by Taliban fighters has decreased to some 18,000 this year from 24,000 last year.
Afghan government forces, meanwhile, have initiated more attacks on the militants.
Anderson also said Afghans must improve the quality of medical care for wounded troops.