The Watson Institute for International Relations at Brown University (Rhode Island) carried out a study of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
Due to the lifting of restrictions
According to a study, made public on Monday, December 7, the number of civilian victims in Afghanistan has grown enormously since 2017. The newspaper Le Figaro reports that this increase is due to the increase in US airstrikes during Donald Trump’s tenure. Indeed, the United States chose to lift restrictions on US forces by Afghanistan. “Which led to a massive rise in civilian casualties“, indicated the study, carried out by the institute Watson for the international relations of the university Brown (Rhode Island).
An increase of 330%
In this document, based on figures from the UN mission in Afghanistan, the number of civilians killed by airstrikes rose 330% between 2016 and 2019 (the last full year of the Trump administration). The results of this study showed that 700 Afghan civilians were killed in bombings in 2019 alone. This is the highest annual death toll since the early years of the war in Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002.
Fewer troops on the ground
Neta crawford, co-director of the project ‘Cost of War ‘ at the university of Brown, specified that United States partly increased the air strikes because they had fewer troops on the ground. But also, because they consider (…) that “it is effective in bringing the enemy to the negotiating table“. According to him, more bombs were dropped in Afghanistan in 2018 and 2019 compared to the height of the US military presence in 2011.
The Afghan army has taken over
The United States and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in February 2020. From that date, the Afghan army took over and stepped up air strikes to put pressure on the Taliban. This study thus revealed that the Air Force did “more civilian casualties than ever in its history“.
Indeed, 86 civilians were killed during the first 6 months of this year, and 103 injured. In the third quarter, the death toll reached 70 dead and 90 injured. “As long as there is no ceasefire, both sides will seek to gain a tactical advantage during the negotiations. The death toll is likely to worsen“, the study concluded.
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