Nightly News | August 22, 2012
>>> this week the american death toll on the war in afghanistan passed 2,000. it long became the nation's longest war . lately an increasing number of americans killed at the hands of afghan security forces . our chief foreign correspondent richard engel who has spent so many years of his life covering this war is here with us in our studio tonight. richard, we were struck by this. today's "new york times" comes out with what is, in effect, the second thousand american troops to die out of the 2,000 in all in this war. it is striking and arresting as a visual. i just looked down and saw a kid from my hometown in new jersey. all of them leave family members behind. question to you as a veteran covering this, how does this end?
>> well, there's a surge under way. the surge is ending right now. by the way, i think it's a very bold move from the "new york times" to do this, because no one has been focusing on afghanistan. no one has been focusing on the surge that is under way right now. casualty figures are up. the surge is ending. if you ask the military, the surge has been a success and the surge will allow the roughly 80,000 troops who are there to leave the country in two years, in 2014 . if you ask many afghans and you ask many people in this country and you look at the absence of debate, they would say the surge did not work, that u.s. troops are going to leave sometime at the end of 2014 and afghanistan will be a failed state with some sort of extremist president.
>> we know your travels will take you back there again before too long. richard engel here with us in the studio. thanks.