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Afghanistan: Another Massacre

By Kosta Harlan |
December 14, 2008
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Another massacre by occupation forces in Afghanistan unfolded on Dec. 12 in the central province of Wardak. U.S. military forces on a foot patrol opened fire on an approaching bus, killing four civilians and wounding at least ten others, according to Halim Fidai, the governor of Wardak Province. The killings are the latest in a string of massacres that have led to increased Afghan anger at the occupation.

A report from the United Nations in September documented that U.S. and NATO forces have killed at least 577 civilians so far this year, an increase of 21% from the numbers of civilians killed in 2007. The rise in civilian deaths reflects the increasing reliance on air strikes, as U.S. forces find they are unable to patrol the vast areas of Afghanistan under control of the insurgency.

The U.S. military and their allies are locked in an increasingly desperate struggle to keep their grip on the country, while the Afghan resistance and the popular movement against the occupation are growing stronger. U.S. military deaths have risen by 30% so far this year, a reflection of the rise in the strength of the insurgency. The frequency of resistance attacks against U.S., NATO and pro-U.S. Afghan security forces has risen by 40% compared to 2007 levels. Amidst the deteriorating security situation, it is reported that three separate strategy reviews of the Afghanistan war are currently underway in the White House.

20,000 additional U.S. troops are expected to pour into Afghanistan throughout the next year, with the first troops arriving in January. When completed, U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan will rise to approximately 60,000. Although President-elect Barack Obama has long stated his desire to ‘surge’ the troop forces in Afghanistan, there are no indications that an increase in troop levels will bring increased security to the occupation. The core issues of self-determination and national liberation for the Afghan people will not be solved by an increase in U.S. troop levels and popular anger at U.S. and NATO atrocities against civilians will only grow in the coming year.