Photo: Saul Loeb / Getty

In 2017, 33 U.S. military personnel gave their lives overseas — seven more than last year. This was the first rise in U.S. casualties in six years, Buzzfeed News reports.

Big picture: Military officials and experts told BuzzFeed that they are most concerned about the military's transparency in the age of Trump. The Pentagon said in June that it would no longer release immediate information about combat deaths in Afghanistan. Many Americans and some lawmakers were not even aware of the presence of U.S. troops in Yemen, Niger and Somalia until the deaths of U.S. military personnel made headlines. And we've seen the Pentagon present deceiving troop numbers in Syria.

Why the secrecy: The U.S. military is starting to use more special forces, which make up only 5% of the U.S. military, to carry out their missions. This has led to more deaths among elite troops than conventional forces.

Perspective: In 2007, more than 1,000 U.S. troops were killed at the height of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Go deeper: BuzzFeed's Vera Bergengruen's piece.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 20,620,847 — Total deaths: 748,416— Total recoveries: 12,770,718Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 5,197,000 — Total deaths: 166,026 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says Mnuchin told her White House is "not budging" on stimulus position.
  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: America's two-sided COVID-19 response America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.

Bob Woodward's new book details letters between Trump and Kim Jong-un

Bob Woodward during a 2019 event in Los Angele. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Journalist Bob Woodward has obtained "25 personal letters exchanged" between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for his new book, "Rage," publisher Simon & Schuster revealed on Wednesday.

Details: In the letters, "Kim describes the bond between the two leaders as out of a 'fantasy film,' as the two leaders engage in an extraordinary diplomatic minuet," according to a description of the book posted on Amazon.

Dozens of Confederate symbols removed in wake of George Floyd's death

A statue of Confederate States President Jefferson Davis lies on the street after protesters pulled it down in Richmond, Virginia, in June. Photo: Parker Michels-Boyce/AFP via Getty Images

59 Confederate symbols have been removed, relocated or renamed since anti-racism protests began over George Floyd's death, a new Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) report finds.

Why it matters: That's a marked increase on previous years, per the report, which points out just 16 Confederate monuments were affected in 2019.