The war against the Taliban in Afghanistan has reached a grim milestone as the American military death toll has reached the 1,000 mark.
The number was reached Friday when NATO reported that a service member had been killed in a roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan.
The rising casualties come at a halfway point between President Barack Obama's decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and a gut check on the war's progress that he has promised by the end of the year.
More than 430 of the U.S. dead were killed after Obama took office in January 2009.
More casualties are expected this summer when the campaign to win over a disgruntled population in the insurgents' southern heartland is launched.
Despite the slow pace, NATO's senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, Mark Sedwill, said the "overall campaign" against the Taliban "is on track."
"I believe that by the end of this year we will be able to demonstrate that we have the initiative and the momentum is with us," Sedwill told reporters in Kabul.