When an Afghan civilian dies in war, the world rarely notices: the Afghan government, hospitals and morgues in the country, even the US-led international military force that has been a presence there since late 2001, all fail to keep comprehensive lists of civilian fatalities. This Nation special report is an attempt to compile as complete a list as possible of civilian deaths that have occurred in Afghanistan as a result of war-related actions by the United States, its allies and Afghan government forces, from the invasion in October of 2001 through the end of 2012, and to explore the reasons this number has continued to climb over the course of the longest war in US history.
America’s Afghan Victims, by Bob Dreyfuss and Nick Turse
Even among staunchly antiwar politicians and pundits, few bother to mention the cost of the war to civilians.
Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan, 2001-2012, an interactive database
The Casualty Data Black Market, by Nick Turse
If you want stats from the government, you better be prepared to pay.
How the US Fueled the Taliban Insurgency, by Bob Dreyfuss
Gen. Stanley McChrystal himself put it best: “Because of civilian casualties, I think we have just about eroded our credibility here.”
America’s Lethal Profiling of Afghan Men, by Nick Turse
Despite rules of engagement to the contrary, such targeting pervades the entire chain of command—up to the Oval Office.
Marla Ruzicka’s Heroism, by Sarah Holewinski
This incredibly gutsy woman gave her life aiding the victims of America’s wars.
Blood Money: Afghanistan’s Reparations Files, by Nick Turse
Coalition forces sometimes pay compensation to civilian victims and survivors of the suffering we have inflicted—but ISAF keeps no comprehensive records, and the US military denies all responsibility.
Mass-Casualty Attacks in the Afghan War, by Bob Dreyfuss
A recounting of three horrific US/ISAF civilian massacres, the procedures implemented to prevent such events from happening again—and why those procedures were inadequate.