WASHINGTON (Web Desk) – Even though the United States has been heavily criticized for causing thousands of civilian deaths during wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria in the last 15 years, the country is still seemingly unwilling to accept the long term consequences of these deaths on its military missions.
This was claimed by recent Open Society Foundations report which has put down all the civilian deaths caused during the US operation in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other countries, to poor planning, unexploded ordinances, incapable partner troops and misguided missile targets.
The United States military has failed to prevent civilian deaths in its operations despite repeated claims to the contrary, the report said.
The report noted that the high frequency of civilian deaths had badly affected US military missions in these countries, resulting in gains for groups like the Taliban.
Michele Flournoy, one of the study’s authors and former US under secretary of defense, said that the superpower kept on making the same mistakes instead of learning from them.
Over 15 years have passed since US military has been conducting anti-terrorism operations around the but still there is very little indication that we have gained some experience at strategic level, he added.
He also said that US military might had often been used by locals to settle personal scores in countries like Afghanistan, resulting in many innocent deaths and further fueling anti-American sentiments among Afghans.
Another co-author Christopher Kolenda, who himself fought in a US foreign combat mission, was also of the opinion that civilian deaths have been accelerating the Taliban insurgency and nullifying the efforts of US and Afghan forces.
“It was like burning a candle at both ends with a blowtorch,” he said, while participating in a discussion in Washington.
The report said that unplanned air strikes to provide support ground troops was a ‘primary driver’ of disproportionate numbers of civilian deaths, causing about 64% of the 828 US and Afghan military-associated civilian deaths in Afghanistan in 2008.
The report, however, also mentioned that the United States was now taking some practical steps to avoid civilian deaths in drone strikes in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.