All Eyes on Afghanistan: Critical Moment for Change
Today we enter the 15th year of the occupation of Afghanistan and if you have watched the news lately it is abundantly clear that the U.S. military is continuing to making things worse in the country. This past Saturday a U.S. AC-130 aircraft launched missiles at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in the northern city of Kunduz killing 10 patients and 12 medical staff.
In the midst of so much evidence the occupation of Afghanistan needs to end, common sense would have the Administration drawing up exit plans for a full withdrawal but, instead, they are considering an extension of the U.S. troop presence. Military Times reports:
“In March, President Obama said he would slow the pace of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Initially the White House plan called for cutting the current force of 10,000 in half by 2016. But Obama backed away from that milestone and signaled some or all of those 10,000 might stay next year.” 1
Supposedly, U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan ended last year. However, with increased violence in the region and now this extension of troops, it seems clear that this is just disingenuous rhetoric. IVAW is committed to challenging the idea that the US military presence will serve the purpose of creating more peace and stability in Afghanistan.
We also support the call for an independent investigation into the Kunduz hospital bombing. The official story from the US military as well as Afghan Security Forces has changed 4 times in the last 4 days from accidental bombing leading to “collateral damage” to claims now that Taliban fighters were using the hospital as a base of operations, a claim strongly disputed by MSF:
"The US government has admitted that it was their airstrike that hit our hospital in Kunduz and killed 22 patients and MSF staff. Their description of the attack keeps changing – from collateral damage, to a tragic incident, to now attempting to pass responsibility to the Afghanistan government." – Christopher Stokes, General Director,Doctors Without Borders
We are joining the call put out by Doctors Without Borders for a fully independent and transparent investigation into this bombing and we hope you will do the same.
Tweet or share this page on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (with 'Public' permissions), with the hashtags #IndependentInvestigation and #Kunduz. For more impact, include a photo of yourself holding a sign with the tags on it.
We appreciate your involvement in ensuring that the U.S. doesn't escape accountability and your continued support of our work.
Matt Howard, Co-Director Iraq Veterans Against the War