War without end: Afghan invasion turns 15

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War without end: Afghan invasion turns 15

The longest war in US history turns 15. War without end.

US troops invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, less than a month after the 9/11 terror attacks in New York and Washington. What seemed like a quick victory over the Taliban regime turned into a bloody, endless guerrilla war that continues to this day....

Fifteen years after the invasion, there are fewer than 9,000 US troops in Afghanistan, down from the 100,000 peak in 2011. They are part of “Operation Freedom’s Sentinel,” and the Pentagon insists they are there in a solely “advise and assist” role to the Afghan military, rather than fighting the Taliban or Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). Just this week, however, Staff Sergeant Adam S. Thomas, 31, was killed in Nangarhar Province, reportedly by an improvised bomb. He was the third US soldier killed in Afghanistan in 2016.

Oh yeah.

Opium cultivation, banned under the strict Taliban interpretation of Islam, has made a roaring comeback during the war.

Over 90% of the world's heroin is produced in "liberated" Afghanistan.

Casualties of War

Over 4,000 coalition soldiers and 15,000 Afghan troops have died over the course of the Operation Enduring Freedom. US casualties over those 4,830 days were 2,356 killed and 19,950 wounded. Taliban casualties have been estimated at between 25,000 and 40,000.

Since then, in Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, the US has suffered 24 killed and 124 wounded, according to the Pentagon. NATO allies lost another seven people.

Estimates of civilian deaths have ranged from 31,000 (Watson Institute for International Studies) to as high as 170,000 (“Body Count”, by Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War).

By way of comparison, the Soviet-Afghan war of 1979-89 resulted in 14,000 Soviet deaths, 75-90,000 mujahideen killed, and civilian casualties estimated at between 850,000 and 2 million.

Issues Pages: 
epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

ICC Begins Hearing over Alleged U.S. Military Torture in Afghanistan

The International Criminal Court is beginning a three-day hearing today about torture in Afghanistan—including by U.S. forces. The hearing will probe allegations that members of the U.S. military and intelligence agencies tortured, raped, and sexually abused Afghan prisoners between 2003 and 2004. Prosecutors and torture survivors are hoping to overturn a previous ruling that blocked an investigation into alleged U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan. This ruling, issued in April, came only a month after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo banned visas for International Criminal Court staff seeking to investigate the allegations of U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan and beyond.


Analysis: Taliban Continues to Lie About Presence of Foreign Fighters


"Most recent article on Uyghur jihadist organization Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP)  that fights alongside Taliban in Afghanistan. Man on the right is Abdul Haq, the head of the Turkistan Islamic Party..."


It's now 40 years since the US started arming the Islamist moujahadeen, who opposed the modernizing military republican gouvernment that had overthrown the king in 1973.  Its socialist-style reforms were too radical for an Islamic society like Afghanistan.  Now the US has switched sides and opposes the Islamist Taliban.  Its great Harper got us out.