The American military and its Coalition allies have been preaching the necessity of avoiding the killing of civilians if the conflict in Afghanistan is to improve. Latest UN figures indicate this emphasis has finally impacted those in fighting areas. During the initial ten months of 2009 an estimated 2,038 Afghan civilians were killed as a result of combat between US/NATO forces and the Taliban. However, the Taliban are responsible for the death of 1,400 civilians while the percent of killing on the part of US/NATO forces has declined from 40% to 20% of the deaths.
The good news is US/NATO forces are responsible for a lower percentage of civilian deaths, the bad news is the murder of innocent bystanders rose 11% this past year. Reality is until Afghan troops can handle the fighting there will be deaths caused by foreigners who come from non-Muslim nations. Strange as it may seem, until Muslims are responsible for killing Muslims there will be no peace in the region.