An internal investigation has cleared US troops of wrongdoing in a battle last November that killed dozens of Taliban assailants and possibly twice as many civilians.
During an operation in the village of Boz in the Kunduz province, American and Afghan forces entered the village and were fired upon by Taliban forces from houses reportedly filled with civilians. Airstrikes were called in, and the battle resulted in about two-dozen Taliban casualties, and between 33 (US-reported figure) and 50 (local officials’ estimate) civilian deaths. Following the raid, residents carried over a dozen corpses towards the office of a local governor to protest the deaths.
Almost two decades of conflict with little progress
Over the decade-and-a-half of war, the Taliban loss estimates reach up to 35,000. Current strength estimates, however, may put their numbers as high as 60,000, a significant increase from the lean 2,000 estimate from the early days of the insurgency.
Outgoing US President Barack Obama campaigned on ending his predecessor George W. Bush’s wars. However, at the end of his second term, he remains the only US president to preside over a nation at war his entire reign. In 2016 alone, the Obama Administration dropped 26,171 bombs, cementing a legacy at odds with his initial promise of peace.
An entire generation of Americans and Afghanis have known nothing but war
The US-led occupation of Afghanistan began in 2001 and continues through the present day in 2017, meaning that a whole generation of Afghani young adults, as well as their American counterparts, have lived their whole lives without knowing a country at peace. Some of those now have children of their own, meaning that so far there exist two whole generations who have seen nothing but war, both in one of the world’s wealthiest countries and in one of its poorest.