December 9 Brown University’s “War Costs Project” released a report on the 7th, pointing out that in order to put pressure on the Taliban, the United States has relaxed the rules of engagement for air strikes in Afghanistan since 2017, significantly expanding the scale of air strikes, resulting in A Fu, who died in air strikes by the U.S. military and its allies.
Khan civilians surged by 330%, killing about 700 people in 2019 alone.
In response to the report, Sonny Leggett, spokesman of the U.S. military in Afghanistan, argued on the 8th that the casualties of Afghan civilians caused by U.S. air strikes have “almost completely stopped” since February 29 this year. On February 29, the United States and the Taliban signed a peace agreement aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan. But this is not the case. According to the report, on October 26 this year, three children were killed in an airstrike by the Taliban by the U.S. military on the Taliban. Four days ago, an air strike on an Afghan religious school killed 12 children and injured 14 civilians.
“Why are there still a large number of civilian casualties when the war in Afghanistan should have ended?” Researchers at the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs of Brown University questioned in the report.
The report quoted data from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan that from 2015 to 2019, 1,357 civilians were killed in coalition air strikes led by the United States, of which about 700 civilians were killed in 2019, the most civilians killed since 2002.
Researchers point out that since 2017, as the situation in Afghanistan is deadlocked and the number of ground troops decreases, the United States has eased restrictions on air strikes, believing that air strikes can put more pressure on the Taliban and force it to the negotiating table. The United States even admits that harming Afghan civilians is part of its military strategy.
The report statistic shows that starting in 2017, the United States and its allies have significantly increased the number of weapons fired in the air. In April 2017, the U.S. military dropped a large bomb in Afghanistan known as the “mother of bombs”. Former Afghan President Karzai strongly condemned the actions of the U.S. military as a “great atrocity” to the Afghan people.
Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of the U.S. military in Afghanistan, has said he was shocked by the number of civilian casualties caused by the U.S. military in the air strikes in Afghanistan.” If we don’t stop killing civilians, we will lose this damn war.”
Accountability is difficult
Although the indiscriminate killing of innocent people by the U.S. military and its allies in Afghanistan is well known, it is still difficult to truly hold accountable. In recent years, the U.S. government has repeatedly said that it will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court in this regard and threatened to take reprisals against the staff of the International Criminal Court.
In March this year, the International Criminal Court ruled that it would authorize an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity involving the Taliban, Afghan security forces, and U.S. military and intelligence personnel in Afghanistan. In June, the U.S. government launched retaliation, first withdrawing the visa of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and then announcing sanctions against employees of the International Criminal Court and other participants in the investigation.
Public opinion generally believes that the U.S. move is obviously to prevent victims from seeking justice. The International Criminal Court pointed out in an article on its official website that although the United States has conducted some investigations into the abuse of prisoners by its personnel in Afghanistan, it is “limited in scope of investigation” and many cases have not been charged.
To make matters clear, the U.S. Central Command has stopped publishing monthly air strike summary reports in Afghanistan since March this year. The U.S. Air Force Journal reported that this was due to “multiple diplomatic concerns” and believed that “the report may adversely affect the ongoing Afghan peace talks”.
Since the September 11th incident, the United States and its allies have launched wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries in the name of anti-terrorism.
So far, it has caused millions of casualties, and tens of millions of people have been displaced or even become refugees. It has plunged these countries into protracted instability, economic decline, and people’s livelihood has withered, bringing heavy humanitarian disasters. Difficult.
In September this year, another report of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs showed that since the United States launched the war on terror in 2001, at least 37 million people have been displaced in eight countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Syria. The researchers stressed that this is only a “very conservative” estimate, and the real figure may be close to 48 to 59 million.
The international charity Save the Children said that in the 14 years from 2005 to 2019, at least 26,000 children were killed or disabled by the war in Afghanistan alone.
“The American intervention in these countries has caused a terrible disaster, and the damage is to a degree that most Americans have never experienced or thought about.” David Wain, a professor at the University of America, said.