Afghanistan Weekly Digest: 80 Percent of Captured 'Taliban' Were Civilians

By Hannah Lythe 06-16-2011

[Editors' note: As part of Sojourners' campaign to end the war in Afghanistan, we will run a weekly Afghanistan news digest to educate our readers about the latest news and developments related to the war, the U.S. military's strategy, and the people impacted by our decisions. Read more about our campaign at www.sojo.net/afghanistan.]

  • Obama weighs scale of Afghanistan pullout: "The Obama administration opens an internal debate this week on the size of a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan amid growing doubts in Congress about the cost and purpose of the decade-long war and public pressure to bring it to a rapid end."
  • Ninety percent of Petraeus's captured 'Taliban' were civilians: "Gen. David Petraeus released figures to the news media that claimed spectacular success for raids by Special Operations Forces: in a 90-day period from May through July, SOF units had captured 1,355 rank and file Taliban, killed another 1,031, and killed or captured 365 middle or high-ranking Taliban. But it turns out that more than 80 percent of those called captured Taliban fighters were released within days of having been picked up, because they were found to have been innocent civilians, according to official U.S. military data."
  • Candidates show GOP less united on goals of war: "The hawkish consensus on national security that has dominated Republican foreign policy for the last decade is giving way to a more nuanced view, with some presidential candidates expressing a desire to withdraw from Afghanistan as quickly as possible."
  • Lawmakers call for reduced Afghan role: "Lawmakers called for a reduced U.S. role in Afghanistan on Wednesday, piling pressure on the Obama administration to accelerate the end to a long, costly war as it debates an initial drawdown this summer."

+Participate in Sojourners' campaign to End the War in Afghanistan and Share the Sacrifice. Tell President Obama and Vice President Biden to keep their commitment to start troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in July 2011.

portrait-hannah-lytheHannah Lythe is policy and outreach associate at Sojourners.

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