Showing posts with label civcas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label civcas. Show all posts

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Afghan Security News Update

Uruzgan Governor Pleads for Australian Help. The province where the Australian training and reconstruction effort in Afghanistan was centered is in a dire situation. The Taliban are steadily making progress and have the Afghan government security forces on the defensive. Of late, the provincial capital - Tarin Kot - has been threatened by the insurgents. Deaths and desertions have taken their toll on the ANP and ANA. The provincial governor is urging the Australians to return to the province with combat troops and helicopters. Read more in "Afghan Governor pleads for Australian help as soldiers defect to Taliban", ABC News, November 7, 2016.

UN Investigating Airstrikes. The United Nations says it is investigating U.S. airstrikes that killed over 30 civilians. The United States is conducting its own investigation. The airstrikes were targeting senior members of the Taliban. Afghan security authorities say the civilians were most likely family members of the slain Taliban leaders. Read more in "U.N. says investigating Afghanistan air strike deaths", Reuters, November 6, 2016.

COMRS Visits Georgia. The country of Georgia has been a staunch ally of the United States and the many other nations participating in the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan. The Resolute Support commander - General John Nicholson - recently visited Georgia to discuss issues pertaining to the country's engagement in the RS mission. Read more in "US Commander of NATO Resolute Support Mission Visits Georgia", Georgia Today, November 7, 2016.

RS Senior Enlisted visits Bagram Units. Command Sergeant Major (CSM) David Clark visited units based at Bagram Air Field. (DVIDS, Nov 6, 2016).

C-RAM Units Exchange Responsibility. One Air Defense Artillery unit is headed home while another has taken its place at Bagram Air Field. The Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) mission provides critical early warning and takes steps to defeat the insurgent's rockets, artillery, and mortars that fire onto the air field and base. Read "Air Defense Artillery Transfer of Authority Ceremony", DVIDS, November 5, 2016.

Paper - Islamic State in Afghanistan. Casey Garret Johnson, writing for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has penned a 16-page report that details the structure, composition, and growth of the Islamic State's so-called Khorasan province.The report is the result of more than sixty interviews with residents of Nangarhar - and provincial and national Afghan security officials. Read The Rise and Stall of the Islamic State in Afghanistan, USIP, November 3, 2016.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Afghan Security News

Kunduz CIVCAS Event. An airstrike took place during the recent attack on a Taliban position in Kunduz city where two American Special Forces Soldiers died. The airstrike hit a building(s) where senior Taliban leaders were in - and also some civilians (many children). Some estimates say over 30 civilians were killed. Read more in "U.S. general pledges investigation on Afghan air strike casualties", Reuters, November 5, 2016. See also "NATO and government forces are increasingly responsible for Afghan civilian deaths", The Washington Post, November 3, 2016.

Australian Woman Kidnapped. According to some initial reports (Tolo News) an Australian woman employed by an NGO was kidnapped at gunpoint on Saturday night (5 Nov 2016) in Kabul.

Hand-Holding at FOB Gamberi. Learn a little bit about what it is like to be an advisor to the Afghan National Army's 201st Corps in eastern Afghanistan. See "Texas troops aiding effort to advise Afghan military", My San Antonio, October 31, 2016.

Senior al-Qaida Ldr Killed by Airstrike. The US says that Farouq al-Qahtani, who had long-standing ties with Osama bin Laden, was killed in a precision air strike in October. (The Guardian, November 4, 2016).

ALP, Uprisings, and Militias. In the northern province of Takhar there is a mix of armed groups that exist in addition to the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police. Read more in "Afghanistan tries to clean up its militias, both legal and illegal",  LA Times, October 31, 2016.

Green-On-Green Attacks are Up. The occurrence of attacks by members of the Afghan security forces against other members of the Afghan army or police is rising. Read "Wave of Afghan-on-Afghan Insider Attacks Hits Afghan Army",,  October 31, 2016.

Army NCO Considered for MoH. An Army non-commissioned officer is being considered for the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in eastern Afghanistan in 2012. Read "We weren't out there looking for awards", Stars and Stripes, November 4, 2016.

Former Serviceman Dies in Afghanistan. A former Navy SEAL - Brian Hoke - died in Afghanistan. Hoke was from the Leesburg, Virginia ara and a 1996 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He left the military in 2002 and worked for the U.S. State Department with many deployments overseas. He is survived by his wife and three children. Info from "Virginia Serviceman Dies in Afghanistan", NBC, October 31, 2016.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Afghan Security News

High-Level al-Qaeda Killed in NE Afghanistan? Defense Department reports indicate that a high-level al-Qaeda leader may have been recently killed in a U.S. airstrike recently. Read more about this elusive terrorist group member in a new report by Wesley Morgan (The Washington Post, Oct 28, 2016).

UN Report on Civilian Casualties. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has issued its quarterly report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan. The report shows that there is a continuing high number of civilian casualties in the armed conflict. In the first 3/4s of 2016 there were 2,562 deaths and 5,835 injured. Ground engagements remained the leading cause of civilian casualties - followed by complex attacks and improvised explosive devices. Read the report published on October 19, 2016.

Former PCoP Attempted to Flee Afghanistan. A former Provincial Chief of Police for Wardak province was stopped from leaving Afghanistan on a flight to Turkey at the Mazar-e-Sharif airport by authorities. The PCoP is accused of transporting a Taliban official in an official police vehicle in an attempt to provide passage to Pakistan. (Tolo News, Oct 29, 2016).

Opium Feeds the Taliban Organization. One writer believes that there can be no victory in Afghanistan unless narcotics are brought into the war agenda in Afghanistan. Read "How Opium Fuels the Taliban's War Machine in Afghanistan", The Diplomat, October 28, 2016.

U.S. Airstrike hits Civilians. On Friday (Oct 28) a U.S. airstrike in eastern Afghanistan (Nangarhar province) hit the home of a Taliban commander but also caused several civilian casualties. Read more in a news report by Reuters, October 28, 2016.

37 Civilians Killed by Insurgents. Men, women, and six children were killed by Islamic State extremists in the central province of Ghor, Afghanistan. Read a report by Radio Free Europe, October 26, 2016.

EU Contract to be Awarded. The European External Action Service (EEAS) has recently invited tenders for the 100 million Euro contract to protect EU diplomatic facilities in Kabul.

Stryker Gets A New Gun. The Stryker, a U.S. armored vehicle deployed to southern Afghanistan a few years back, is seeing some improvements. It is receiving more armor and some models will have a 30mm cannon mounted on its turret. Read more in "Army Rolls Out Upgunned Stryker: 30mm Autocannon Vs. Russians", Breaking Defense, October 27, 2016.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

U.S. Airstrike in Afghanistan Kills 15 Civilians

According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) a U.S. airstrike (probably an unmanned drone) killed 15 civilians in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan.  A U.S. drone strike against ISIS in eastern Afghanistan this past Wednesday (28 Sept 2016) was targeting insurgents. Sources indicate that 18 to 21 people were killed. Many of those struck were civilians according to the police chief of Achin district where the attack took place. At least 13 civilians were wounded. The group was in a compound visiting an elder who had just returned from Hajj. (Reuters, Sep 28, 2016). Read the UNAMA press release.

In addition, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Thursday (Pajhwok, Sep 29, 2016) that the drone was carried out on Islamic State elements based on intelligence information. The MoD has appointed a commission to investigate the claims of civilian deaths. The United States is conducting its own review of the airstrike.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Security News

Gen Austin - Spinning the Narrative.  The commander of U.S. Central Command, General Lloyd Austin, says that Afghan military is making progress - saying "The Afghans are very capable . . ." Um, okay. If you say so. Read more in "Afghanistan's Security Forces Making Progress, Centcom Says", U.S. DoD, March 2, 2016.

Another Deployment for 3rd Cav. About 1,000 Soldiers from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment will deploy to Afghanistan in the spring of 2016. The Fort Hood Soldiers will be part of a regular rotation of forces in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel. Read more in a news report (Military Times, March 2, 2016).

Two Turks Killed. Two Turkish nationals were killed Saturday in a shooting in Kabul. The police are investigating.

Anniversary of Operation Anaconda. In March 2002 U.S. forces in Afghanistan launched Operation Anaconda to attack al-Qaeda and Taliban forces located in a mountain valley in eastern Afghanistan. Several U.S. servicemen were lost in the battle.

Pakistan Harboring Taliban Leaders? The Pakistani prime minister's adviser on foreign affairs has indicated that the leadership of the Afghan Taliban is living in Pakistan. A bold admission of something that many have accused Pakistan of doing for many years. Read more in "Why did Pakistan admit to hosting the Afghan Taliban?", BBC News, March 3, 2016. Read a related article entitled "Diminishing Control Motivates Pakistan to Assert Taliban Influence", Gandhara Blog, March 3, 2016.

Indian Consulate Attacked. A consulate in Nangarhar was attacked and several militants were killed. Read more in "Afghanistan militants dead in Jalalabad attack", BBC News, March 2, 2016. Civilians were killed and wounded in the attack as well.

Gen Dunford Says . . . . that the Afghans are applying security lessons learned in 2015. (DoD News,  Mar 4, 2016). Dunford was the commander for the International Security Force Afghanistan (ISAF) in 2013-2014. He is now the Chief of the Joint Staff and recently visited Afghanistan for the change of command ceremony for Resolute Support.

Lots of Hats. A recent news article contemplates the different types of hats found among the coalition forces at the Resolute Support base in Kabul. A stroll around the compound will find many styles and colors of berets, Australian bush hats with their unique chin strap, French hats with colorful feathers, and more. Then of course, there is the disconcerting habit of British military of not wearing any hat at all that throws U.S. SGMs into a significant panic attack. Read more in "Hats Point to Diversity, Size of Coalition in Afghanistan", DoDLive, March 3, 2016.

Former Governor Freed. The former governor of Herat province was abducted in Pakistan last month by gunmen and was released by security forces. It seems that the captors were transporting him by auto and they were stopped at a checkpoint. Read more in this news story by Kidnap and Ransom Magazine, February 29, 2016.

Badakhshan Opn Soon? There are news reports saying that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) will soon be mounting an offensive to clear insurgents out of parts of Badakhshan province. Read more in a news report by Tolo News, March 5, 2016.

Afghan Army Logistics. Philip Lere examines the good and bad of Afghan Army logistics system in "The Coalition, Scarcity and the Afghan Army Logistics System", Small Wars Journal, March 3, 2016.

CIVCAS in Paktia Province? The ANDSF recently (Jan 2016) conducted a multi-agency operation in Zurmat that seems to have caused some civilian casualties. Read more in "The ANSF's Zurmat Operation: Abuses against local civilians", Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN),  March 4, 2016.

Districts Handed to Taliban by Govt? Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah has dismissed speculations about the planned hand over of certain districts to the anti-government armed militant groups. Some districts across the country have been abandoned by the ANDSF and that has led to speculation. Read more in "Abdullah dismiss speculations about planned hand over of districts to militants", Khaama Press, March 3, 2016.

District Falls to Govt Troops. The Afghan National Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) has retaken a district that had been under Taliban control for some time. Operations were launched to retake Dand-e-Ghori district of Baghlan province in late January. One of the side effects of the Taliban occupation of the district was the cutting of power lines providing electricity to Kabul. Read more in "Afghan forces take full control of Dand-e-Ghori in Baghlan from Taliban", Khaama Press, March 3, 2016.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Steady Rise in Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan

2015 was a bad year for civilians in Afghanistan. The numbers were very discouraging - with an increase in the number of deaths and injuries suffered by the Afghan population. At least 3,545 civilians were killed and 7,457 injured as the Taliban stepped up attacks against the Afghan government and its people. A recent United Nations report indicate that the casualty figures are surging along with the draw down of NATO-led combat forces. This is the highest number of total civilian casualties in a single year in Afghanistan since 2009. Many of the casualties were women and children.

Read some news reports on this topic:
"Civilian Casualties Hit New High in 2015", United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), February 14, 2016.
"UN says 2015 was worst on record for civilian casualties in Afghanistan", The Telegraphy, February 14, 2016.
"Afghanistan Had Record Number of Civilian Casualties Last Year, U.N. Says", The New York Times, February 14, 2016.
"UN reports stark rise in number of Afghan civilian casualties in 2015", The Guardian, February 14, 2016.

UN Report.
Afghanistan Annual Report 2015 - Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Kabul, Afghanistan, February 2016, 99 pages.

Read past reports and news articles about civilian casualties in Afghanistan:

Sunday, December 6, 2015

More on the AC-130 Attack on Kunduz Hospital

Fatal Guesswork and Human Error. The international press continues to carry stories and analysis on the U.S. Air Force's AC-130 attack on the Doctors Without Borders medical trauma center in Kunduz City. One recent news report compares the MSF tragedy with two other incidents of U.S. attacks that went badly. One was the downing of an Iranian civilian airliner in 1988 by a U.S. Navy vessel that killed 290 innocent civilians over the Persian Gulf. A second was the destruction of two U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters over northern Iraq during Operation Provide Comfort that killed 26 people. Read more in "Fatal Guesswork: Why the U.S. Military Attacked that Afghan Hospital", by Mark Thompson,, November 29, 2015. To understand how the AC-130 gunship works (or doesn't) read "How tech fails led to Air Force strike on MSF's Kunduz hospital", by Sean Gallagher, ars, November 30, 2015.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

U.S. Report on Kunduz Trauma Center Attack

Special Operations AC-130 Gunship
A report by the U.S. military on the aerial attack by a Special Operations AC-130 gunship on a Doctors Without Borders medical facility in Kunduz City is due out soon. The report was vetted by General John Campbell (Commander of U.S. and Resolute Support forces in Afghanistan) as well as Pentagon officials to ensure classified information was not released. Read more in a news report by Reuters, November 20, 2015. Some initial observations about the report are contained in this news story - "Multiple Errors Cited in U.S. Airstrike on Doctors Without Borders Hospital"The New York Times, November 24, 2015. Medecins Sans Frontierres published an online memoriam on the 14 members of the medical staff killed during the attack. General Campbell presented a press statement about the investigation on November 25th (watch 15 mins video posted by DVIDS).

Sunday, October 11, 2015

More on Airstrike on MSF Hospital in Kunduz

Reports indicate that Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has moved its personnel from Kunduz City - closing down its medical facility. An unfortunate development as it is one of the few medical centers in that very large city. The MSF medical center was hit by a U.S. airstrike during the fight for Kunduz City last week (early October). The death toll is reported to be more than twenty medical staff and patients. MSF is calling the airstrike a war crime; others are regarding the incident as a tragic error in the fog of war. The White House called the MSF hospital airstrike a 'profound tragedy'. (Tolo News, Oct 6, 2015).

AC-130 Gunship (Photo AF Defense Media)
AC-130 Gunship. Although not confirmed by the Pentagon many observers are speculating that an Air Force Special Operations AC-130 gunship conducted the airstrike. Some Pentagon reports say that the Afghan military called in the airstrike; that it was not conducted in support of U.S. troops in contact. The air attack lasted about one hour. A gunship does not always use or require a map coordinate to engage its target - it sometimes will be guided onto the target with a compass heading (direction) and distance provided by friendly force on the ground. The AC-130 almost always flies at night because of its slow speed, large size, and lower operating altitude. The U.S. military is having a difficult time explaining how it bombed the MSF hospital. (The Washington Post, Oct 5, 2015).

How Did it Happen? It seems that an Afghan army unit asked for air support because it was taking fire from the garden areas surrounding the hospital. A U.S. special operations element with the Afghan unit had some responsibility for the approving or execution of the air support mission. It is unknown if the AC-130 crew knew they were targeting a hospital. Some reports are saying that the SOF unit on the ground may not have followed proper procedure during the call for fire mission. One aspect coming to light is that the SOF unit may not have had "eyes on the target" - which may impede the ability to determine if the airstrike was hitting a legitimate target. Read more in "General Is Said to Think Afghan Hospital Airstrike Broke U.S. Rules", The New York Times, October 6, 2015. One of the more detailed examinations of the airstrike has been conducted by Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN). Read her report dated October 7, 2015 entitled "Airstrike on a Hospital in Kunduz: Claims of a war crime".

Screwup or War Crime? Under the Geneva Conventions (as if the Taliban observe that agreement) hospitals can't legally be deliberately targeted for a military attack except in cases where the enemy is using hospitals as cover. A big question is if the U.S. knew the building was a hospital and if it was intentionally targeted - one would hope no in both cases. However, the MSF is pressing the case for calling the attack a war crime. Read more in "Did the US bombing of an Afghan Hospital Cross the Line Between Screwup and War Crime?", Mother Jones, October 7, 2015. Of course, the Human Rights Watch is jumping all over this drastic event. (Human Rights Watch, October 6, 2015).

Who is to Blame? With the international attention generated by this tragedy it will be hard for the U.S. military to sweep this incident under the rug. Read more in "Will Heads Roll at the Pentagon for the MSF Hospital 'Mistake'?", Foreign Policy, October 8, 2015. One observer feels that too much attention to this one tragedy will set the stage for country-wide risk. Read Anthony H. Cordesman's thoughts in The Tragedy in Kunduz, the Real Threat to Afghan Civilians, and the Need for Changes in U.S. Strategy, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), October 9, 2015.

Apologies. An incident this serious requires acknowledgement of mistakes and a thorough investigation. Fraser Seitel tells us what "A Proper Apology" entails (, Oct 9, 2015).

History of CIVCAS and "Unplanned Airstrikes". According to one observer there is a big difference in the incidents of civilian casualties when comparing "planned" and "unplanned" airstrikes. The incidents of civilian casualties in planned airstrikes are very small when compared to CIVCAS during unplanned airstrikes. Read "A Brief History of Unplanned Air Strikes in Afghanistan", by Matthew Gault, War is Boring, October 6, 2015.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Airstrike Hits MSF Hospital in Kunduz (Apparently)

The Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz was apparently bombed by the U.S. Air Force on Friday causing extensive damage to the hospital, killing medical staff and patients, and setting back the Information Operations campaign of Resolute Support. The U.S. has confirmed that it carried out airstrike(s) in the vicinity of the hospital and that collateral damage may have occurred. The MSF staff says the bombing attack occurred with "devastating precision". MSF also states that they provided the geographic coordinates of their hospital to NATO and U.S. personnel on September 29th - days before the deadly bombing attack. An investigation is currently ongoing. The death toll appears to be in the teens - probably around 19 dead with many more wounded. After the attack some of the more critically injured were transported to a hospital in Puli Khumri - a two hour drive away. Read more about the attack in a press report by MSF. The U.S. Secretary of Defense issued a statement on Saturday, October 3rd.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Paper - "Body Count"

The Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) has published an extensive study of the deaths caused by the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. The short name of the paper is "Body Count"; the long name is "Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 years of the War on Terror". For those that can remember (yes, I do) the term 'body count' gained much attention during the Vietnam War. One of the methods the military command in Vietnam measured progress on the battlefield in Vietnam was using a body count metric - how many of the enemy were killed during a certain operation or period. It became a focus of the military during the 'Five O'clock Follies" - the public affairs office briefings to the press that occurred in Saigon every day at 5:00 pm. The military, in an effort to show progress, would trot out charts depicting the latest body count information. Unfortunately, this public affairs practice turned into a negative. As a result, the US has learned to not release enemy casualty figures; and when they do, they are not tallied from day to day. So it is not surprising that the PSR 'borrows' the term for the title of their paper; as the negative association of the term fits their political agenda and resonates with many of their readership and will likely influence others beyond their usual audience. The paper by PSR attempts to fill the information gap of the casualties not tracked by the U.S. in Afghanistan (and Iraq and Pakistan as well). The paper is dated March 2015, is an Adobe Acrobat PDF, and is over 100 pages of graphs, charts, maps, pictures, figures, etc. In regards to Afghanistan, the paper provides estimates of the number of war deaths from October 7, 2001 to December 31, 2011. It examines the casualty figures of civilians, Afghan security forces, ISAF and OEF Soldiers, private security contractors, civilian employees of the US government, journalists, and insurgents.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Jan - Mar 2015 Record High CIVCAS

The latest report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) shows a continued high rate of civilian casualties for 2015. The main cause is ground engagements. The figures from the first quarter of 2015 is not a good sign of the civilian casualties (CIVCAS) projected to occur during the 2015 fighting season (which is probably just kicking off now). In the first three months of 2015 civilian casualties rose by eight per cent compared to the same period in 2014. Ground fighting between Pro-Government Forces and Anti-Government Elements (UN terminology) caused 521 civilian casualties. Read the UNANA news release (April 12, 2015).

Friday, March 6, 2015

CIVCAS - Afghanistan in Free Fall

An observer of the Afghan conflict writes about the increase in violence in Afghanistan - pointing to the departure of international combat troops as a contributing cause. Read more in "Blood and horror surge in our absence in Afghanistan", The Star World, February 19, 2015.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Pop-Centric COIN: Protect the Population

"COIN is Population-Centric. The development of a proper COIN approach starts with the acceptance of the people as important to COIN operation." Counterinsurgency strategy should " . . . protect the population from insurgent violence; . . . " Page I-3, Joint Publication 3-24, Counterinsurgency, 22 November 2013.

"Security Sector Reform. SSR is primarily a means to strengthen the capabilities, capacity, and effectiveness of the HN security apparatus, which in turn improves the capabilities of the security forces to secure and protect the population from insurgent/terrorist violence." Page VIII-11, Joint Publication 3-24, Counterinsurgency, 22 November 2013.

Stated at the top of the first page of the ISAF Commander's Counterinsurgency Guidance, signed by General McChrystal, are the words "Protecting the people is the mission".

The Host Nation, Afghanistan, is conducting counterinsurgency operations to defeat the Taliban and other insurgent groups. The Resolute Support Mission, comprised of NATO and other countries, is engaged in Security Sector Reform (a U.S. doctrinal term) through its Train, Advise, and Assist (TAA) mission to help the Host Nation conduct its counterinsurgency war. So how is the COIN population-centric campaign going?

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has released its 2014 Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, dated February 2015. Afghan civilian deaths rose 25 percent in 2014. Below is a chart from the report depicting the continuing rise in Afghan civilian casualties in the war from January 2009 to December 2014. Based on the United Nations data it would appear that the "protect the population" component of the COIN population-centric campaign is not going so well.

The entire report can be read at the link below. It is an Adobe Acrobat PDF file.
2014 Annual Report - Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

The Resolute Support Headquarters Information Operations machine was hard at work in response to the UN report. See the RS HQs press release entitled UNAMA 2014 Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict Report, February 18, 2015 at the link below.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

CIVCAS Afghan Wedding

News reports indicate that six members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) have been arrested in the wake of the civilian casualties from the recent attack on a wedding. The bride was wounded and is reported to have died of wounds in the hospital. The rocket exploded at a wedding in Sangin district,  Helmand province on Wednesday, December 31, 2014. Many of the 17 victims were women and children. The incident took place while there was a government and insurgent fight in the area. Afghan officials have said that the ANA was responsible for the incident. Read more in a news story (Radio Free Europe, Jan 1, 2015).

Monday, October 20, 2014

Afghan Civilian Casualties at All Time High

Afghanistan's civilians are bearing the brunt of the war. While ISAF is strident in their message that the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are in the lead in securing their country and defeating the Taliban they are worried about the inability of the ANSF to prevent civilian casualties. Read more in "In Afghanistan's unfinished war, civilians pay the price", Stars and Stripes, October 18, 2014.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Afghan Civilian Casualties Rise in 2014

According to a recent report by the United Nations civilian casualties have rose abut 24% by mid-year 2014 over the first six months of 2013. 74% of these casualties are attributed to the "Anti-Government Elements", 8 % to Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), and 1 % to international forces, 12 % to ground engagements between the ANSF and Anti-Government Elements (casualty not attributed to either side), 4 % to the explosive remnants of war, and 1 % to cross-border shelling from Pakistan into Afghanistan. The graph below, taken from the report shows the numbers of civilian deaths from 2009 to 2014  (January to June) caused by the Taliban (red), Afghan National Security Forces and ISAF (green), and other (yellow).

The report entitled Afghanistan Midyear Report 2014 Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, was published in July 2014. The two organizations responsible for the report are the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. This comprehensive report contains a number of graphics that depicts the different numbers and categories of civilian casualties. You can read or download the report online at the link below:

Afghanistan Midyear Report 2014: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Civilian Casualties Up 14 Per Cent in 2013

The United Nations has released a new report that states civilian casualties in the Afghan War rose by 14 per cent in the last year (2013). The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) report states that it was the worst year since 2009 in terms of the number of women and children killed or injured as a result of conflict-related violence. The 2013 Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict produced by UNAMA reflects a 7 per cent increase in deaths and a 17 per cent increase in injuries as compared to 2012. Read more about the UN report here in "Civilian casualties in Afghanistan up 14 per cent last year, says new UN report", UN News Centre, February 8, 2014. One of the tenets of the ISAF information operations campaign is that the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) is fully capable of protecting the Afghan population now that the ANSF is in the lead for security. Perhaps that should be re-worded a bit to say that the ASNF was 14% less capable in 2013 than they were in 2012 to protect the Afghan population. ISAF, in their never-ending attempt to inject a little sunshine into a cloudy day has released their news release about the discouraging news by UNAMA of the 14% increase in civilian casualties. See "UNAMA report released", DVIDS, February 8, 2014.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Karzai Demands that U.S. Airstrikes End

Once again Karzai is demanding that U.S. airstrikes end and that military operations cease. Karzai keeps pounding away at the United States (hard to figure this guy out). His latest outburst is centered around a SOF operation that the U.S. says was Afghan led that led to the death or one or two civilians. A combined force of 70 Afghan commandos and nine U.S. advisers conducted the operation. One Afghan Commando and a U.S. Special Forces operator died in the attack. The U.S. called in an airstrike against a compound from which they were taking fire and could not withdraw. According to the U.S. two civilians in the compound were killed. Read more in "Afghan President Again Demands US Airstrikes End", ABC News, January 19, 2014.

Monday, December 23, 2013

UN Says Civilian Death Toll in Afghanistan Is Climbing

The United Nations has stated that the Afghan civilian death toll has climbed in 2013. It says that the 2013 toll is 10% higher than in 2012. Most of the victims died as a result of roadside bombs and suicide bombers. Read the story here on Radio Free Europe (December 18, 2013).