DUSHANBE, July 30, 2008, Asia-Plus - Nearly twice as many U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan than in Iraq so far this month, marking the lowest death toll of any month since the U.S. invaded Iraq and putting July on course to be the first month in which the American military suffered more casualties in Afghanistan than in Iraq.

As of Tuesday, 11 U.S. service members had been killed in Iraq and 20 in Afghanistan in July, according to icasualties.org, which tracks coalition casualties in both wars.

If the July statistics hold for the next two days, they''ll mark the lowest American military death toll in Iraq since February 2004, when 20 service members were killed, and the second highest toll in Afghanistan, after June, when 27 U.S. troops were killed there and 29 Americans were killed in Iraq.

In all, 29 NATO and U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan this month.

The American military is debating shifting more troops from Iraq to Afghanistan and expanding its counterinsurgency strategy there. Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that the military can''t send more troops to Afghanistan unless it draws down more in Iraq, despite the surge of violence around Kabul and southern Afghanistan.