Afghan Civilians Keep Paying the Price for the So-Called War On Terror

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Photo by ResoluteSupportMedia | CC BY 2.0

One of the stated objectives of coalition forces led by the U.S. to invade Afghanistan in 2001 was to overthrow the Taliban from power and help Afghans form a democratic and relatively stable government. The main objective of getting rid of the extremist group – the Taliban, was to defeat terrorism spearheaded by Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network, blamed for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Al-Qaeda was purported to have bases in Afghanistan.

Since the main focus of the coalition forces was eliminating terrorism, it is worthwhile to analyze this objective after this 17-year campaign and find out what progress has been made in achieving this goal. I will talk about civilian causalities – the aim of this article – and its impact on Afghans and the American strategies of winning hearts of minds and defeating terrorism. The importance of talking about civilian casualties is relevant because the campaign to fight terrorism continues to produce significant civilian casualties. Recently the Taliban attacked Kabul’s downtown killing 105 people. Reuters reported the U.S. military authorities are opening an investigation about a widely circulated video in which an American soldier is firing into a civilian truck in Afghanistan. Afghan civilians are being targeted by its sworn enemy the Taliban. And ironically by its partner, the U.S., who should be helping their government to protect them and defeat the Taliban. It is truly a cath-22…

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