Presidential Candidates Must Commit to Immediate US Withdrawal From Afghanistan

by on August 23, 2019 · 3 comments

in American Empire, Politics

Afghanistan: the Graveyard of Empires

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthoutBlog / Aug. 17, 2019

On July 30, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reported that the Afghan government and international military forces, primarily the United States, caused most of the civilian deaths in Afghanistan during the first six months of 2019. That’s more killings than those perpetrated in the same time period by the Taliban and ISIS combined.

Aerial operations were responsible for 519 civilian casualties (356 deaths and 156 injuries), including 150 children (89 deaths and 61 injuries). That constitutes a 39 percent increase in overall civilian casualties from aerial attacks. Eighty-three percent of civilian casualties from aerial operations were carried out by the international forces.

The targeting of civilians amounts to war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

These war crimes promise to continue unless the U.S. military completely withdraws from Afghanistan. While the United States and the Taliban have had discussions aimed at ending the 18-year war, the eighth round of those talks concluded on August 12 without reaching a peace deal. The two threshold issues are the schedule for the withdrawal of the remaining 14,000 U.S. troops and how to prevent “terrorist attacks” against the U.S. and allies in Afghanistan. The Taliban want the U.S. forces to withdraw before a ceasefire. But U.S. officials seek to maintain 7,000 troops, including Special Operations forces, in Kabul for several years.

Team Trump’s deadly actions are a continuation of the Bush and Obama administrations’ commission of the most heinous crimes in Afghanistan. On April 12, the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber found a “reasonable basis” to believe that the parties to the Afghan conflict, including the U.S. military and the CIA, committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, most of them occurring between 2005 and 2015. They include “the war crimes of torture and cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, and rape and other forms of sexual violence pursuant to a policy approved by the U.S. authorities.”

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Copyright Truthout. Reprinted with permission.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar thequeenisalizard August 25, 2019 at 8:03 am

Candidates and politicians don’t really control this. Doing research on this subject and hopefully, without sounding like a conspiracy theorist it’s really the multi-national arms and weapons producers that decide when and where wars are stopped and started.

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Avatar kh August 25, 2019 at 3:44 pm

Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate who’s seriously addressed our military imperialism. I’m considering voting for her if the DNC doesn’t Bern her like they did to that silver haired gentleman last time around.

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Avatar Chris August 27, 2019 at 6:45 pm

As a veteran who was deployed out that way at the very beginning this war (tho not boots on the ground in the thick of it) when it was referred to “Operation Enduring Freedom”, it’s amazing it still goes on 18 years later. I remember the powers that be even saying there was no specific end goal. Guess we never (and never will) learn.

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