Sunday, 14 February 2010

Operation Moshtarak: success or shame?

Operation Moshtarak has been reported this evening on the BBC news as a success so far, yet we hear of the shameful and sad news of 12 civilians being killed in Marjah when two rockets missed their intended targets.  Killing innocent civilians and wiping out an entire family will not win over the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.  Foreigners starting a campaign with death, distruction and disgrace will do so much harm to the sad situation.   There will be anger, agony, hatred and bitterness. What terrible news!  A military solution will not work.  David Miliband, our Foreign Secretary, even said so last July, but we are now more deeply involved than ever before.

How can we measure success in this conflict?  After years of fighting and maintaining a significant military presence there seems very little to show for the billions of pounds spent on this war.  There seems to be no way of assessing when the conflict has been won.  It can be argued that this war is unwinnable.  The number of civilians casualties as a result of NATO military action is shameful.  Even conservative estimates of civilian fatalities should cause concern; the high level of civilian deaths will cause untold damage and disgrace.

We hear very little about these deaths and casualties.  There is a lot of suffering because of this situation.
The reports of these casualties call into question the mission in Afghanistan.

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