During the war in Vietnam an American officer insisted the village had to be destroyed in order to save the people from communism. Fast forward to the war in Afghanistan which shortly will reach its tenth year of fighting, bombing, death and destruction. Between January to June of this year, 1,462 Afghan civilians were killed by air strikes conducted under the auspices of the International Security Assistance Force(ISAF) in their campaign to destroy the Taliban.
Sahr Muhammedally, of the Afghanistan Human Rights Watch recently noted: “In the past two years ISAF has issued tactical directives to restrict practices that cause civilian casualties. But, air strikes were the leading cause for civilian casualties by ISAF.” He also claims avoiding civilian casualties is now number two on the list of concerns, the leading issue is reducing deaths from “friendly fire.”
The war goes on. Deaths go on. Corruption goes on. Selling opium goes on. “Concern” for deaths of civilians goes on. And, fairly soon, US troops will be going on their way home. But, civilians remain, and they will go on being killed.