Covering Up Civilian Casualties In Afghanistan

by Project Censored
Published: Last Updated on

The war in Afghanistan and the US Special Operations Forces (SOF) has had far more deaths than the reports are leading us to believe. The Human Rights unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) jointly with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) stated a total of 80 civilians were killed in 2010 through these sieges but it has been reported that this number is several times as many.

AIHRC Commissioner Nader Nadery said that they did not include civilian deaths from specific incidents if they could not collect the actual number. The number of 80 in the report comes from a total of 13 incidents that were investigated. There are about 60 incidents that are unreported or investigated that have a multitude of undocumented civilian deaths. They are estimating that about 420 deaths have actually occurred.

However, the world “civilian” is not even applied the US night raids. Night raids generally killed people in their own homes, and thus outside the context of a military operation. The night raids were also drastically increasing. The Afghanistan war logs released by Wikileaks called the Joint Prioritized Effects List (JPEL) included 2,058 names targets for capture or death. That list provided the intelligence basis for a pace of some 90 raids per month in late 2009 – a huge increase from the 20 per month just six months earlier. Many civilians have died in these military night operations.

Title: Covering Up Civilian Casualties

Author: Gareth Porter and Shah Noori
Source: Counter Punch, 3/18/11

Student Researcher: Katie Havens, Sonoma State University
Faculty Advisor: Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University