Afghanistan No. 491
The Bush Administration has provided inadequate security for Afghanistan on the cheap, for too long limiting an international peacekeeping mission throughout the country. In the countryside the Afghan government has little authority; the Bush Administration and its allies rely on authoritarian tribal warlords, who maintain corrupt control of revenues and administration.
U.S. military operations have concentrated on seeking out remnants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces. In these efforts, U.S. forces sometimes inflict death and injury to non-combatants. In the village of Madoo, for instance, was mistaken for an Al Qaeda outpost, 55 innocent people were killed, and the village was devastated. Although the U.S. military admits its error, it has refused to provide assistance to the villagers. Seven children were killed on June 17, 2007 by a U.S. airstrike in eastern Afghanistan that was meant for al Qaeda fighters. Civilians continue to suffer at the hands of the inadequate U.S. effort in Afghanistan.
In addition, violence has not subsided since U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. The International Crisis Group reports that the "U.S. State Department said 2006 saw 53% increase in terrorist attacks against noncombatants, while rights group reported suicide attacks killed 8 times as many civilians as combatants in 2006."
In their zeal to apprehend terrorists, US Government officials have disclosed to the media (without attribution) that they are using methods prohibited by the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane Degrading Treatment or Punishment. This includes turning over some detainees to governments known to use torture consistently.
The United States and the international community must make the kind of economic and social investment in the country to give hope to the people.
U.S. involvement should improve life for the Afghani people; unintentional killing of civilians and an increase in terrorist attacks and suicide bombings is no improvement. Therefore, ADA urges the U.S. government to recognize its full obligation to Afghanistan by investing adequate resources to ensure social and economic justice throughout the entire nation.
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Foreign and Military Policy Commission