Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dead People in AfPak

An Afghan organization has published statistics about civilian deaths in Afghanistan during the first half of 2010: 1,074 civilians were killed, for a daily average of six. Two thirds were killed by Islamists, but ISAF forces killed 210 civilians, 108 were killed by Afghan forces and 67 by private contractors.

Meanwhile, over the border in Pakistan no-one really knows what's going on. The BBC is monitoring things and pretends to have verified numbers for 2009-June 2010: about 2;500 dead people, 700 of them killed by American drone attacks. Who were they: Terrorists? Civilians? No one seems to know. Nor are the numbers particularly helpful, since they don't include people killed by the Pakistani army:
Over the same 18-month period, many more than 2,500 people have died in offensives by the Pakistani army and fighting between troops and militants. Exact figures are impossible to obtain.
Which means the Americans and Taliban together have killed fewer than half the total, but no-one actually knows what the total is. Keep in mind, however, that the main killer - the Pakistani army - is killing citizens of its own country.


Anonymous said...

Wikileaks (of all people) will tell us more. Somewhere it said that only selected outfits have been given access. I wonder how much they paid for benefiting from the fruits of treason - or do I get something wrong there?

Mr. Assange and his ilk call the shots
a pity Ian Fleming is not around any longer to spin a fantasy around it - Le Carré is probably all for it.

I hope I can restrain myself from reading the stuff, the only thing that really interests me is the role Iceland is playing in it.


Judith said...

Private contractors leave 67 dead:
Are these murders or war casualties in international law?

Anonymous said...

I dimly remember that in Iraq the US has negotiated an immunity deal for the privates with the government which is constantly under debate but to the best of my knowledge is still valid.

Therefore I'd assume that it might depend under which command/jurisdiction they operated at the time - I don't remember having ever read anything that a clear distinction between civilian and military jurisdiction (or however it is correctly called) has ever been clarified for these "sub-contractors"