Tag Archives: Afghan civilians

Afghan Civilians Continue Dying In Cause Of Freedom

A United Nations report reveals that deaths of civilians during the war in Afghanistan increased by 40% last year to a number of 2,118. The research indicates 829 were killed by US, NATO and Afghan forces, an increase of 30% over figures from the previous year. Militants were responsible for 55% of deaths and forces of freedom for the remaining 45%. The death of civilians has long been a source of conflict between the Afghan government and those fighting as members of coalition and US forces. UN figures note that despite efforts to establish new rules in dealing with fighting where civilians are in the area, the death rate continues rising, “notwithstanding efforts to implement policies and procedures to minimise the impact of their operations on civilians.”

Of course, forces of freedom do provide monetary compensation to families of those being killed. One can only wonder whether a young son uses the death as a reason for joining the Taliban. Perhaps, it is time to appoint a military officer who would focus on ways to avoid civilian deaths.

US Miitary Hesitates In Fighting Militants

After the initial American success in Afghanistan, the Tabliban was allowed to group and once again become a powerful force. During the past few years, this has resulted in continual American and coalition military strikes which frequently have resulted in deaths of innocent Afghan civilians. An ongoing problem is lack of sufficient ground forces which has necessitated reliance on air power. Last week in an operation against Taliban militants, American forces held off from firing at points during the battle to avoid killing Afghan civilians. Several days ago, uS forces killed 37 Afghan civilians and wounded 35 at a wedding party which has increased pressure on the part of the American military to be cautious when civilians are in the area.

The Taliban obviously is now using the presence of civilians in order to assist in their operations. They undoubtedly will use the cover of civilians in order to carry out operations. The apparent solution lies in having more ground forces in Afghanistan.

Taliban Hurt By Air Attacks

Taliban fighters are angry due to recent US air strikes which apparently led to the death of a few of their senior leaders. At least one high level Taliban leader was among the 24 killed in an American air attack. Residents in the area say the Taliban has warned them not to investigate the site of the bombing or to discuss any aspect of the situation with outside sources. One one hand a few Taliban leaders have been killed, but, on the other hand, thousands of civilians are fleeing the area. As always, civilians are trapped in a dilemma. It they give aid to the Taliban, they are subject to punishmen by the Afghan government or coalition forces. If they do give aid, they open themselves to attack by militant.

The people of Afghanistan are trapped and don’t know how to escape, Government, US forces, and the Taliban threaten and warn people. For many, the only escape is to flee or to die.

Yes, We Killed The Civilians, Admits Afghan Govt.

Two days ago on this blog we reported the death of over 70 Afghan civilians in US air strikes when a US led coalition force supposedly attacked Taliban militants. The American military denied killing any civilians but yesterday, President Karzai admitted civilians had been killed and order the sacking of two key military officers. The officers were dismissed for their involvement in “irresponsible” military operations in western Afghanistan. An Afghan human rights group which visited the scene said at least 76 civilians died although the latest Ministry of Interior figure is 78 including at least 50 children. Originally, US reports were 25 militants had been killed as well as five civilians. The US military will investigate the incident. One wonders if they will also investigate deliberate lying on the part of officers in charge of providing information.

As we noted the other day, reports of killing “militants” by planes flying at hundreds of miles an hour proved impossible during the Vietnam war and are equally invalid today in describing air strike casualties. There will always be terrible mistakes when air power substitutes for on the ground operations.