Governments do not survive without public support. The more a government alienates its people, the shorter the time of survival of the government. Like of many other countries, the history of Afghanistan is also full of instances where wrong policies or their erroneous implementation by governments has forced citizens to rise against their governments. The current Afghan government, which is fighting a state-sponsored terrorism, commits some strategic mistakes that can carry terrible consequences. One of such mistakes is causing casualties to civilians in counterinsurgency operations.
Civilian casualties are not something new in the Afghan war, but instead of taking steps to tackle the issue, it has worsened day by day. In addition to foreign troops, now Afghan forces also sometimes kill or wound civilians in their operations. Local people in some provinces particularly complain a lot about operations carried out by the NDS 01 unit, a special regiment that belongs to the Afghan intelligence agency — the National Directorate of Security (NDS). Members of the unit are said to be not paying attention to civilian casualties, and sometimes are conducting themselves in a way that do more harm than good to the war on terror. For example, the residents of some provinces complain that the special force has blown up the gates of their houses and/or arrested and tortured innocent civilians. It seems unrealistic to completely prevent civilian casualties when war continues, but it is possible to reduce them by adopting a proper mechanism and ensuring justice. If the government reforms the leadership of security and defense forces, and make them accountable, things can improve. The government has to give priority to the protection of civilians at least to ensure its survival and avoid the wrath of the nation. If government leaders cannot stop the killing of Afghan civilians by foreign troops, they should impose necessary restrictions at least on Afghan forces in order to pay keen attention to the lives and properties of civilians in their counterterrorism operations.
Civilian fatalities alienate people from the government, especially when the culprits are not prosecuted and families of the victims do not find justice, thereby leaving them vulnerable to exploitation by the militants because they resort to revenge, something that makes it easy for the rebels to recruit them.
Get real time update about this post categories directly on your device, subscribe now.