8/07/2009

The Enduring War...


The War in Afghanistan, called "Operation Enduring Freedom" is a puzzling war.

In the first place it is a war not
with Afghanistan, but in Afghanistan. The conflict is seen as a response to the harboring of the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks by the Taliban and as a means of securing freedom from further attacks by parties hidden in or supported by the Taliban. To make matters more complicated, Al Qaeda has also found support and hiding places in Pakistan making the war not only in Afghanistan but also in Pakistan. So in the end it is about our enduring freedom, not the enduring freedom of either Afghanistan or Pakistan.

The war is also enduring in that it is the core of the "war on terror," a seemingly unending war fought without borders, without reference finally to states, without end. And yet, it is a war that liberals and conservatives alike find difficult to criticise because it is the actual war against the perpetrators of the attacks on us.

So today when I heard that the predictions are that the war
in Afghanistan was likely to be very costly at least for another two years I came back to look at the numbers from iCasualties lists. Here is how it has gone:


Coalition Military Fatalities By Year


YearUSOtherTotal
2009142108250
2008155139294
2007117115232
20069893191
20059932131
200452759
200348957
2002492069
200112012
Total7725231295

Looking forward then, we are facing two more years in which something like 140 US Military will die in Afghanistan each year. If there are withdrawals of other Coalition forces perhaps more. This will mean we will have lost well over 1000 members of the military in this war.

The question is, where is the debate on the future of this conflict, its relation to the "war on terror" and what would count as a basis for ending the war? There is some out there in the secular press and radio, but where in the life and concerns of the Church?

3 comments:

  1. Salt Lake Priest8/8/09 12:04 PM

    I couldn't agree more. Where is the voice that speaks to the moral bankruptcy of the whole concept of war? As long as we wage "war" on anything we are doomed to failure as we simply perpetuate the cycle of violence rather than transform it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Civilians killed last year in Afghanistan:

    1,160 - by anti-government forces
    828 - by Coalition or Afghan forces
    130 - unknown (e.g., crossfire)

    38 were aid workers.

    These are from the UN and may be less than the actual totals.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Where are the people who stand up and say this is wrong. Our country is so wrapped up in the taxes and the health care that no one is standing up for our sons, fathers, mothers and daughters sisters and brothers who are losing their lives every day! WAKE UP AMERICA!

    ReplyDelete

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