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War In Afghanistan

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The United States war in Afghanistan over the years seems to be losing momentum and focus. Generals talk of running out of targets. However, they insist that they are proceeding according to a game plan, and the major victories will eventually "materialize." There are myths being circulated such as "The US is bound to be defeated in Afghanistan." It states that the US will follow in the footsteps of Britain in the First Afghan War in 1838-1842 and the Soviet Union in 1979-1989 who suffered disastrous defeats. However, unlike the Soviets and Great Britain, the US has neither interest nor geopolitical reasons for wanting to control Afghanistan.

An issue that is discussed often is the fact that thousands of Afghans who are fleeing their homes will starve or freeze this winter and whether it is a violation of humanitarian law. The deliberate starvation of the enemy's population is prohibited as a tactic of war, as are any methods designed to cause extremely severe damage to the environment or the destruction of objects on which civilians depend for survival, such as food or water sources. The population of Afghanistan has for years suffered extreme deprivation of food and health care due to political repression and the interrelated effects of war, conflict-related violence, and drought. Now, war-induced fear has exacerbated what was already a crisis, putting thousands of civilian lives at risk as foreign aid workers leave and humanitarian assistance is scaled back. For example, certain roads, bridges and airports may ordinarily be legitimate military targets, but if they are also essential to the delivery of humanitarian relief throughout the winter, their attack may yield more harm to civilians than definite military advantage, and so would be forbidden.

Another issue discussed by the Human Rights Watch was the specific targets of airstrikes in Afghanistan. The airstrikes of the U.S.-led coalition have targeted, aircraft and



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