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Another Year, Another Terrible Record
Posted by The Agonist on February 4th, 2012

From our partners at The Agonist

From the NYT:

A record number of Afghan civilians were killed in the conflict here last year, the majority at the hands of the Taliban and other insurgent groups whose use of homemade bombs became more prevalent and whose suicide bombers killed more people each time, according to the annual United Nations report on civilian casualties.

Although the number killed — 3,021 civilians — represented a relatively small 8 percent increase in casualties over 2010, it was the fifth straight year in which civilian casualties rose. The overall trend suggested that the fighting was worsening and that, for all the talk about peace efforts and a drastic increase in the number of insurgents that NATO had killed and captured, day-to-day dangers for Afghan civilians were rising.

Here’s the rub: the fact that most civilian casualties are caused by the insurgency doesn’t matter. NATO and its allies are supposedly still there because they are protecting the Afghan populace so they get the blame from Afghans for failing to do so. That means they become ever more disenchanted with the coalition and ever more likely to aid the Taliban and other groups, enabling them to make more attacks that kill more civilians and thus driving the cycle ever further down. It’s been that way for several years now.

That’s just one of the reasons why “Hastening the day Americans stop dying for a lost cause is the right call”.

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