Thursday, July 07, 2016

COTW: Civilian Casualties Mount in Afghanistan

courtesy: United Nations
The number of civilian casualties in the fifteen year war continues to climb.  The UN said earlier this year that 2015 was the deadliest since the organization began keeping statistics in 2009.  Over eleven thousand casualties were counted, up 4% above 2014 according to the UN mission to Afghanistan.  A fierce battle for Kunduz and Taliban suicide attacks in Kabul contributed to the mounting civilian casualties, but the United States also contributed to the grim figures by destroying a charity hospital in October. {09.09.08, Winning Hearts and Minds}  That attack killed 42 and injured 43 more.  The United Nations said both sides have failed to adhere to commitments to avoid civilian casualties.  The statistics do not convey the chaos of a disintegrating society plagued by war for two generations.  About a third of the casualties in 2016 are children; both the Taliban and Afghan government forces use child soldiers. Although the US is slowly withdrawing from Afghanistan, the Taliban is responding to the withdrawal by stepping up its attacks.  No prospect for a peace agreement or even a ceasefire are in sight.