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.