Updated to include August 2010.

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August witnessed the second straight month that fatalities dropped in Afghanistan, since the all-time high in June 2010. In addition, the rate of increase over the same month in the previous year has dropped to near one. The first six months of 2010 averaged double the fatalities of the first six months of 2009. July and August 2010 averaged about 1.07 times July and August of 2009. That’s a substantial drop, and resembles somewhat the January-August 2007 period in Iraq, when the counterinsurgency effort there began to succeed. The resemblance is certainly interesting, but it’s way too early to draw conclusions.