Since the conflict began in 2001, figures show that nearly one million people have lost their lives in Afghanistan because of it. In addition, two million have been displaced from their homes.
Juanjo Andrés Cuervo
After the destruction of the Twin Towers on the 11th of September of 2001, the United States, then governed by George W. Bush, invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.
Indeed, this caused a change in the political landscape of the world, and various regions suffered human loss as a result of the war.
During this period, the percentage of women and children killed in Afghanistan has been increasing, in many cases as a result of aerial bombardments carried out by US troops.
It must also be noted that in 2016, more than half a million people had to leave their homes in the country because of the conflict.
In fact, this is the largest number of displacements this Asian nation has experienced since 2008. In total, almost two million have had to flee to save their lives.
In addition, from January to May of 2017, 90,000 people left their homes to escape the war.
These figures appear in a study carried out by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
Furthermore, a report in 2015published by the NGO Physicians for Social Responsibility shows that the number of deaths since the beginning of this war is at least 1.3 million.
However, they warn that the figure could reach 2 million: this being the global figure for deaths in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.
And with respect to Iraq, sources in the country illustrate that, in 2008, the so-called “War on Terror” back then caused more than a million deaths there.
During the course of this year, the number of children killed by the war is reaching record levels.
With respect to 2016, UNAMA documented that there were 11,418 victims, of whom 30% were children. Among them, there were 923 dead and 2,589 wounded – 24% more than in 2015.
In addition, this figure is the highest recorded by UNAMA in a full year.
Unfortunately, the latest report shows that the early months of 2017 have been even worse for children.
From January to April, statistics indicate that there were 283 deaths and 704 wounded – 21% more than during the same period in 2016.
One of the main problems is air operations. Carried out by international military forces they have killed at least 127 and wounded 108 this year, according to a United Nations report.
Faced with this problem, UNAMA sources blame “the persistent use of indirect and explosive weapons in areas with large numbers of people” for it.
Apart from air strikes and insurgent coups of government-friendly forces, a large number of people are hurt by unexploded devices left on the battlefield.
For example, the figures show that, in 2015, 167 children were killed as a result of this, and 387 were wounded.
In addition, the Foreign Relations Council member, Micah Zenko, produced a report showing that, in 2015, the United States launched 23,144 bombs in countries with largely Muslim populations.
The devastated nations were Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia though data indicates that, Iraq and Syria between them account for 22,110, followed by Afghanistan, with 947.
Laws and costs
With respect to the contraptions used in warfare, the Government of Afghanistan recently ratified Protocol 5 of Unexploded Ordnance in the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.
In that legislation, it is stipulated that the government should take strategies to identify and eliminate the remaining explosive devices.
But UNAMA believes that the at least 21% of children who are blighted by this scourge are so as a result of the country’s national security forces and groups that support the government.
Moreover, the United States government has used a lot of public money to finance this war.
According to the data provided in the National Defense Budget Estimates for FY 2017, the total money used has been $ 2.0766 trillion.
During this period, Bush spent $1.161 trillion, Obama $825 billion, while Trump has spent $96.5 billion, so far.
Thus, the debt of the United States has increased by 10%, and now it is $19 trillion.
In fact, in the Iraq war alone, tax payers have spent $ 800 billion, according to ABC News.
And while it is true that the $ 2 trillion dollars used in the “War on Terrorism” has served to create 17 million jobs, statistics show that, if this had been spent on education, 36 million jobs would have been created.
The role of the UK
Whilst Labour won 32 seats in the last general election, the Conservatives remain the party with the largest representation in Parliament: though the loss of 13 seats makes the Tories unable to achieve, at the moment, a governing majority.
Ultimately, if the Conservatives did succeed in establishing an alliance with another political party, it seems obvious that, as they have done in recent years, they would continue to support the United States during its meddling in the Middle East. Hence, nations such as Afghanistan, Yemen and Iraq will continue to be subject to the ambitions of the most powerful countries which, with their capitalist aspirations, strive for goods at the expense of weaker nations.
In addition, to finance nuclear equipment, the Conservatives have been reducing resources in other public services.
In fact, one of the most affected of these services has been the NHS, and according to a study conducted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Oxford University and Blackburn, statistics show that this may have caused 30,000 deaths in England and Wales in 2015 alone.
Photos: Pixabay – (Translated by Nigel Conibear – Diptrans IoLET MCIL – firstname.lastname@example.org)