Attrition: Human Shields in Afghanistan

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August 22, 2007: About 1,100 civilians have died in Afghanistan during the past three months. Civilian casualties have doubled in the past two years, largely as a result of more civilians resisting the Taliban with force. A major reason for that is the continued Taliban use of civilians as human shields. As word of this practice got around, and general dislike of the Taliban grew, more villages organized to repulse Taliban attempts to visit. Less than a third of the dead are civilians killed by smart bombs. But these, and any civilian death involving foreign troops, get major play in Taliban propaganda.

Afghans, in general, don't like foreigners. In fact, Afghans don't like unrelated Afghans very much either, especially those who come from other tribes or ethnic groups. But foreigners are the favorite group to hate and, in general, dump on. The Taliban harp on this constantly, because a major goal of the Taliban is to drive all foreigners (and non-Sunni Moslems) out of the country.

 


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