Human Rights Watch: The War in Afghanistan is Escalating, Not Ending

by
Fatimah Mazhar
The world thought that things would get better for Afghanistan when local forces and NATO-led forces reached an agreement on the removal of foreign combat troops from the country. All international armies are slated to withdraw by the end-2014 deadline and the local forces are to be fully responsible for the security situation of the state.

The War in Afghanistan is Escalating, Not Ending

The world thought that things would get better for Afghanistan when local forces and NATO-led forces reached an agreement on the removal of foreign combat troops from the country. All international armies are slated to withdraw by the end-2014 deadline and the local forces are to be fully responsible for the security situation of the state.

It was presumed that Afghanistan, which has been almost devastated after suffering under the so-called War on Terror for more than a decade now, would be better off with foreign “interventionists” leaving its soils for good.

Apparently, this is not the case.

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Heather Barr, a researcher for Human Rights Watch (HRW) explains in her report why the situation in Afghanistan is growing worse day by day even after the removal of foreign troops:

For Afghans, However, The War Goes On

Many civilians are being injured and killed. Barr notes that more than 400 Afghan soldiers and police are dying each month. People are fleeing their homes – almost 60,000 of them in the first six months of 2013 – and many are trying desperately to get their families to safety outside the country. For these people, the war is a never-ending ordeal. Even if it the physical pains and troubles halt, the psychological effects will always be there.

Why Is The War Escalating?

Heather Barr shares aspects suggesting the escalation in the Afghan War. “A United Nations report shows a 23 percent increase in civilian casualties so far this year compared with the same period in 2012.” The hardest hit among the civilians were women and children. Barr notes that civilian casualties of women caused by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are up by a mind-boggling 138 percent over 2012, and overall civilian casualties of women are up by 61 percent, while injuries and deaths of children are up by 30 percent over 2012.

Who’s To Blame?

Barr says while there is plenty of blame to go around, the main contributor to the escalation of war in Afghanistan are the deaths and injuries among civilians being caused by explosive remnants of war left behind by NATO forces as they “rush to pack up and leave.”

Uncertain Future

The HRW researcher points out that the foreign media presence in Afghanistan is winding down as the international troops prepare to leave the country. The following years are going to be deadlier as ever since the clash of opinion between the militants and the Afghan government has no end in sight.

Apart from Heather Barr’s analysis, there are a lot more factors which suggest that the removal of foreign troops from Afghanistan does not guarantee a “free” Afghanistan. In fact, the real ordeal starts here. For the people at least who have received no economic or infrastructural benefits from their so-called saviors who are all set to leave the country after 12 years of occupation.

There isn’t much left or made by the foreign forces in the country for the Afghan people to use. They have absolutely no infrastructure and development amid militant resistance is a distant dream.

It’s just the end of an occupation, the real war starts now.

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