Red Cross: Afghanistan in Worst State in 30 Years

Violence Spreading, Aid Groups Struggle

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has issued a new report on Afghanistan today cautioning that rising violence and growing numbers of displaced civilians have the nation in its worst state in 30 years.

The ICRC has been operating in Afghanistan since 1979, and insists the situation has never been more difficult for the delivery of humanitarian aid. This would cover not only the entire NATO occupation of Afghanistan, but the Soviet one as well.

The report notes that the escalation of violence, responsible for the record NATO death toll in 2010, has also led to a comparable spike in violence agianst civilians, and that civilians were actualy bearing the brunt of the violence. One hospital alone dealt with thousands of weapons-related injuries among civilians.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect, however, is that the growing insurgent presence in Northern Afghanistan is increasing the levels of fighting there, and turning those regions, once the only truly “safe” place for aid groups to operate, into among the most dangerous.

Despite the Obama Administration’s official “pleasure” at the state of the war and an upbeat public report coming Thursday evening, the Red Cross also reports that they expect the 2011 violence to be even worse than the 2010 violence.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.