In another tragic milestone in the Afghanistan War, U.S. officials confirmed July was the deadliest month for U.S. troops in the nine-year-long conflict.
Authorities reported six more American soldiers were killed during fighting last week, bringing the monthly death toll to a record 66.
"I certainly understand it is the ninth year, it is a long time, the sacrifices have been significant," Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated Sunday. "At the same time, I think the strategies are right."
Meanwhile, President Obama's Afghan surge continues with the president ordering the deployment of another 30,000 troops to the war-torn region. By the end of the summer, it is expected that more than 100,000 U.S. military personnel will be in Afghanistan.
However, the commander-in-chief has also promised to begin bringing some of those troops home next July.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates predicted that only a small number of U.S. forces will start coming home at that time.
"My personal opinion is that drawdowns early on will be of fairly limited numbers," Gates told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. "As we are successful, we'll probably accelerate."