The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Monday, February 6, 2017

Update for Monday, February 6, 2016


Once again, just one link.

Record spike in civilians killed in Afghanistan last year, according to a UN report.

The report documents 11,418 conflict-related civilian casualties, including 3,498 killed and 7,920 injured. Of these, 3,512 were children - 923 dead and 2,589 injured, up 24 per cent on the previous highest recorded figure. The figures, recorded by UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), are the highest since the UN began systematically documenting civilian casualty figures in 2009.

“The killing and maiming of thousands of Afghan civilians is deeply harrowing and largely preventable,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “All parties to the conflict must take immediate concrete measures to protect the ordinary Afghan men, women and children whose lives are being shattered.”

Anti-Government forces, mainly the Taliban, were responsible for almost two thirds of the casualties while pro-Government forces were responsible for almost one quarter. . . .

Airstrikes carried out by Afghan and international forces caused 590 civilian casualties (250 deaths and 340 injured) nearly double that recorded in 2015 and the highest since 2009.

UN press release available here.

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