President Bush has announced the withdrawal of some 8,000 troops from Iraq by early next year. But at the same time Bush says the US will send around 5,000 more forces to Afghanistan.
President Bush: “In November, a Marine battalion that was scheduled to deploy to Iraq will instead deploy to Afghanistan. It will be followed in January by an Army combat brigade. The mission of these forces will be to work with the Afghan forces to provide security for the Afghan people, protect Afghanistan’s infrastructure and democratic institutions and help ensure access to services like education and healthcare.”
The news of an increased occupation of Afghanistan comes amidst ongoing public uproar over a series of US bombings that have killed innocent civilians. Afghan member of parliament Ramazan Bashardost said sending more US troops is not the solution.
Afghan M.P. Ramazan Bashardost: “Three years ago, we had 10,000 American soldiers in Afghanistan, but the security situation, compared to today’s, was much better. In 2003, they added another 20,000, but we have seen more and more insecurity, and the situation is getting worse. In my opinion, the increase in troop numbers is not the solution.”
2 Afghan Civilians Killed in Errant US Bombing
In the latest deadly attack, at least two Afghan civilians were killed and ten wounded Tuesday when a NATO warplane missed its target in the province of Khost. It was the fourth lethal US air strike in just two weeks, beginning with the deadliest of the US occupation so far: some ninety Afghan civilians in Herat, including sixty children. On Tuesday, villagers in Herat released grainy cell phone footage of scores of dead bodies lying in the village mosque. The Pentagon says it’s investigating the attack after initially disputing the number of casualties.