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Civilian Casualties Skyrocket in Afghanistan
The following facts on civilian casualties in Afghanistan are available on a single-sided sheet from United for Peace and Justice (Word doc)
Afghanistan Fact Sheet #7
In the first six months of 2010, Afghan civilian casualties rose 31%, now totaling nearly 7,000 since 2006. In addition, child casualties rose 55% compared to the first six months of 2009. [Guardian, http://bit.ly/eHxIHH]
The US is currently waging its largest offensive in Afghanistan since 2001, and the death toll is at an all-time high. Despite the promises his campaign made in regards to peace overseas, President Obama has raised troop levels from 38,000 to 100,000, and has pointed to “NATO’s enduring commitment beyond 2014” in Afghanistan.
WikiLeaks’ recent dump of over 90,000 secret war files, concerning the state of affairs in Afghanistan, documents such horrors as:
• Special Ops squads invading compounds, and killing innocent children [http://bit.ly/ed7IdN]
• Polish NATO troops attacking villages, and killing pregnant women. [http://bit.ly/hPZbwO]
• Children being hit with shrapnel from drone attacks, as approved by President Obama. [http://bit.ly/eBnSaO]
“Air attacks were the largest single cause of civilian deaths caused by pro-government forces [in 2010]—accounting for 31 percent,” reported AP [http://huff.to/fdLxVX ] “NATO fighter jets and attack planes launched their bombs and missiles on 850 separate missions” in November 2010 alone under NATO commander David Petraeus, wrote Wired magazine [http://bit.ly/gUQkzs]. “That’s three-and-a-half times the number of attack sorties they flew in November 2009.”
As of 2011, military forces from some fifty countries are serving under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, now the longest-lasting theater of war the United States has ever known. In fiscal year 2011 alone, American taxpayers will pay $119.4 billion for the Afghanistan war.
The carnage is not limited to Afghanistan. “This is a US drone war in Pakistan with a big, big US troop component next door,” reports Wired magazine [http://bit.ly/gTxveC]. That is in addition to funding for President Obama’s recent expansion of a secret war being waged against al-Qaeda, now in 75 countries worldwide. [Washington Post, http://wapo.st/ffd2v8]
Officials in President Obama’s administration have actively refused to cooperate with ongoing investigations regarding torture, rendition, and other war crimes, which the President himself has authorized—largely at “black site” prisons in Afghanistan, including one known only by the name, ‘the dark prison’. [http://bit.ly/fYfiWF]
It’s becoming clear that the Obama administration has no intention of ending this war that we, as taxpayers, are funding. It’s time for us to step up and ask ourselves, “Are we willing to see our tax dollars spent on the deaths of innocent people?”-- and then bring that question to our elected officials in Congress, who continue to vote money foir this war, year after year.
For weekly updates, read UFPJ’s Afghanistan War Weekly: http://bit.ly/gt55Aa. To get involved with UFPJ’s Afghanistan Working Group, visit unitedforpeace.org. Together, we can end this war.
-- Written by John Falchetta for UFPJ; edited by Janet Weil and Cole Harrison
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Afghanistan Working Group – firstname.lastname@example.org