Afghans Blame US for Spike in Insurgent Attacks

Though Studies Blame Taliban for Most Killings. US Can't Duck Responsibility

Though a pair of recent studies from the Afghan government and the United Nations pointed the finger clearly at the Taliban for a majority of the civilian killings and even suggested that US efforts to curb NATO’s killings had slowed the growth of the deaths coming from their side, the US doesn’t seem to be getting any more popular.

The battle for “hearts and minds” in Afghanistan has centered around both sides trying to keep their own forces from killing large numbers of civilians, but for locals exactly who is killing them doesn’t so much matter.

Rather it seems the US is taking the blame, either for killing them directly or, when the Taliban does so, for not providing the protection their occupation force is nominally attempting to provide.

The studies show that the overall civilian toll is still rising at an alarming rate, though the exact figures are a matter of serious contention. NATO’s killings of civilians still happen regularly, and Gen. Petraeus is expected to remove a number of restrictions aimed at reducing the toll, likely driving the rate up further.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.