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Former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates pushed the Army and Marine Corps to put more mine-resistant vehicles into battle at a time when roadside bombs were penetrating the lighter Humvees and killing troops.

By 2011, more than 13,000 of the mine-resistant vehicles had been shipped to Afghanistan, including a smaller all-terrain model better suited to the country’s hilly geography. The Pentagon asserts that an anti-mine vehicle is 10 times safer against IEDs than the armored Humvee it replaced.

The NATO command reported a spike in enemy attacks in June to more than 3,000, the highest since September 2010. The command said the increase stemmed from more Afghan national security forces on the battlefield and from improvements in their ability to chronicle attacks.

Of 209 American deaths in Afghanistan this year, 103 were inflicted by roadside bombs, according to the website