The Trump administration is facing criticism for its bombing campaign in Afghanistan. More than 22,000 US troops are in the country, conducting ground operations alongside Afghan forces against the Taliban. On 7 November, after US warplanes in Afghanistan dropped a 500-pound (227-kilogram) explosive on a pickup truck, a Reuters report documented evidence that at least 10 civilians were killed in the airstrike. The US
military released a report the next day confirming a civilian casualty, and blaming the strike on a ‘human error.’ But the report did not explain how that mistake occurred, and few news outlets were willing to independently confirm the report. Militants in Afghanistan frequently use weaponized drones to drop weapons, and US officials have long admitted that the Afghans are frequently reluctant to refuse requests for
strikes on what the government perceives as threatening militants. Afghanistan has been ruled by the Taliban since a US-led invasion in 2001. It has become a country overrun by the enemy of the United States. Currently, American troops are combating the group along with other Islamist factions and regional insurgents. Afghanistan has a long history of resistance, including the Taliban, which they fought for more than
a decade after their 1996 ouster. The airstrike is the latest in a series of instances where American officials and military have made it their business to give intelligence and reconnaissance information to the Afghans, only to have the Afghan forces ignore that information. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg condemned the latest event as a “tragic mistake,” and a violation of international law, according to
Politico. In an incident in August, a US airstrike killed scores of people in the village of Alizai. According to a UN investigation, the airstrike was called in to support Afghan forces in an effort to capture a leader of the Taliban, but what followed were U.S. airstrikes and artillery fire that are believed to have killed between 100 and 150 civilians. Following that incident, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis
publicly apologized for the attack. “The US is committed to upholding the highest standards of respect for human life and dignity in all that we do,” Mattis said in a statement, adding that “due to the nature of this crime, any deliberate attempt to prevent its further investigation will not be tolerated by the US.” The former President of the United States, Barack Obama, began arming and supporting the Afghan
military in 2011. “We may have had some shortcomings when we were there, but I think we had the right strategic approach,” Obama said in a January 2016 interview with Vox. “I do not believe that the best approach for the US is to pull back, which is what the critics are suggesting that we do right now.” Obama leaves office this week, the day after a bombing raid in Yemen that killed at least 80 people, including
women and children.