Afghanistan Weekly Digest: Civilian Casualties. Drones. Solutions.

By Hannah Lythe 02-22-2011

[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]

Civilian causalities. 65 civilians killed in U.S. operation, Afghanistan says. "Afghan government officials alleged Sunday that a U.S. military operation in the remote mountains of northeastern Afghanistan killed 65 innocent people, including 22 women and more than 30 children, the most serious allegation of civilian casualties in months."

Drone attacks. Drones hitting fewer top targets. "CIA drone attacks in Pakistan killed at least 581 militants last year, according to independent estimates. The number of those militants noteworthy enough to appear on a U.S. list of most-wanted terrorists: two."

Politics of war. The solution in Afghanistan: Get out. "The new Republican majority in the House came to power in large part by promising to control spending and reduce the deficit. This war has already cost us more than $450 billion; combined with the war in Iraq, it is estimated to account for 23 percent of our deficits since 2003. Where is the outcry from the Tea Partyers and the deficit hawks? Fiscal conservatives should be howling that this war is being financed with borrowed money. Those who support the war should be willing to pay for it." Barbara Lee, Ron Paul float bill to end Afghanistan war. "Rep. Barbara Lee joined with two House Republicans to introduce a bill Thursday that they say would end the war in Afghanistan. The bill would require that any money appropriated for the war in Afghanistan 'shall be obligated and expended only for purposes of providing for the safe and orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan of all members of the Armed Forces and Department of Defense contractor personnel.'"

From the ground. A Year at War. Thirty thousand American soldiers are taking part in the Afghanistan surge. Here are the stories of the men and women of the First Battalion, 87th Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division. View feature videos and brief glimpses of life in Afghanistan.

Hannah Lythe is policy and outreach associate at Sojourners.

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