The death rate is up for a reason. And it is not because a Democrat sit sin the White House.
The focus of the Marine Corps for years has been Iraq. With that country behind us, the Marines are being sent over to Afghanistan where the aggression to destroy the enemy has picked up. The rise in troops strength has allowed the Army and the Marines to be more effective against the enemy. Instead of waiting them out or dealing with them as they emerge, we are hunting them. Now two things naturally occur when a military goes on the offense and treks into territory it was unable to do before...
1) The death rate will rise, but no where near what the enemy is suffering
2) And the media will provide their sorted and twisted wisdom to our dumbfounded politicians as they declare that these deaths have to mean that the Tali-Ban is gaining power.
The choices are clear and there are only two. If the administration wants to strengthen the corrupt Afghani government, then the generals need more troops. If they do not get them then they will have to make do and lose more men than is necessary to accomplish the mission (they are very used to that anyway). But if the administration acknowledges that Pakistan is of far more interest tothe U.S. then we need to pull our troops out and simply punish our enemies as they emerge out of the Afghani mountains and deserts.