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Ear to the Ground

Fewer Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan

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Posted on Jun 19, 2010
McChrystal
Wikimedia Commons / U.S. Army Sgt. David Alvarado

U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal is the architect of the military strategy in Afghanistan.

Even in the face of increased military deployment and the fact that 2010 is on course to be one of the deadliest years for foreign troops in Afghanistan, the number of civilians killed there by U.S. and NATO forces has reportedly decreased due to stricter rules of engagement.

Civilian deaths at the hands of coalition forces have been a major sore point in the ongoing battle against the Taliban. —JCL

Reuters:

Despite their boosted deployment and increased losses, foreign forces have been inflicting relatively fewer Afghan civilian casualties due to more stringent rules of engagement, a top coalition spokesman said on Saturday. Winning over civilians while reinforcing and stepping up military sweeps of Taliban-held areas is a centerpiece of the strategy formed over the past year by U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of foreign forces in Afghanistan.

But with the clock ticking on planned troop pullouts, the United States and allies in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are troubled by its daily death tolls as well as Afghan losses that can reach triple figures in any given month.

Presenting data from the last three months compared to the same period in 2009, ISAF spokesman Brigadier-General Josef Blotz said there were 7.8 percent fewer clashes involving civilians, with 44.4 percent fewer killed or wounded by coalition troops.

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poonckie's avatar

By poonckie, June 20, 2010 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

Is this supposed to be GOOD news. I agree it sounds like a commercial which is exactly the intent.

“The new and improved Afgan war, now with fewer civilian deaths per attack”.

Our source of information has been hijacked and the crap these people say is amazing. Tragedy upon tragedy has been heaped upon the World and we are rapidly becoming a divided Nation. If the President ends these costly wars the neo-cons will howl “weak”. Our National identity seems to depend on us killing brown people.

I was working at San Juan ARTCC during Bush war partI and when they showed a “smart bomb” blowing up a building you should have heard the men in the break room cheer. They showed the same footage over and over again since that was the first trial run of restricting the press “for their own safety”. The American public never sees the carnage and dead babies and seriously believe in “surgical strikes”. Seeing just the numbers and not the bodies makes war more palatable especially since we “don’t count civilian casualties”.

The official clarion call to hate and fear Muslims and Mexicans is being heeded by the uninformed and unfortunately the MSM gives them the widest coverage. Most of them don’t have a clue. We are a weak Nation in debt up to our collective asses to the rest of the World and we still think we are the most powerful Nation on Earth. U S A, U S A.

I fear we have become like not-so-Great Britain, who once ruled much of the World. The flag never sets etc.

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By MeHere, June 20, 2010 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

This “data from the last three months” should undoubtedly be very reassuring to
Afghans. Now they can relax and feel proud to have invaders in their land. Sadly,
this type of information continues to be widely accepted in the US.

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, June 20, 2010 at 5:11 am Link to this comment

Sadly this headline, reads like a product pitch at the local supermarket on a bottle of laundry detergent….“Fewer deaths with new war rules”...

How wonderful, I will buy all the war your selling, but you’ll have to have the bag boy, help me to my car, because it’s a little to heavy to bear..

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, June 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

So bernie, where do you get your news? Is “objectivity” anywhere in her portfolio?

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By berniem, June 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

The swooning Patreus, McChrystal the Malevolent, Obushma, the MSM. Sorry, I no longer believe anything proffered by any “official” sources. This nation is no longer credible. If it isn’t a classified subject, it’s presented as so much disinformation as to be useless to the thinking public but marvelous grist for the cheap rhetoric presented by our duplicitous “public servants” and their receptive talking-head toadies in the media. And to think that we have the audacity to still be making fun of “Bahgdad Bob”!

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, June 19, 2010 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

What is this? I thought we were in this specifically to kill civilians. Military heads should roll, I tell ya.

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By tazdelaney, June 19, 2010 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

this article states the diametric opposite of an article today in the new york times. and rumour has it that wikileaks now has a video showing US/NATO forces a couple of months ago killing over 140 afghan civilians,  all unarmed and mostly young and children. what, my lai?

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By Michael, June 19, 2010 at 9:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shouldn’t you use the word “fewer” rather than “less”?

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