Eleven Years of Death and Destruction

The war in Afghanistan has gone on for eleven years. Tens of thousands of Afghans have died and thousands of U.S. soldiers have either been killed or maimed. In Barack Obama’s last speech on the war he announced a plan that would lead to “a future in which the war ends”. The stated plan is to remove all troops by 2014, shift military power into the hands of Afghan forces, and transition into a so-called “support role”. In other words the U.S. plans on keeping over 20,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, maintaining the occupation indefinitely. As the war continues so does the destruction. If we look at life in Afghanistan now we see that the war won’t be over any time soon.

Lives Lost

Thousands of people have lost their lives due to direct violence such as air raids and roadside bombs, but many more have died due to the destruction of infrastructure, inaccessibility of health care, and malnutrition.

  • Between 27,000 and 46,000 people have died as a direct result of violence from the war.

  • In 2009, the Red Cross fitted 3,700 artificial limbs on Afghan patients, 64 percent of whom were survivors of land mines or unexploded munitions.

  • 3,190 coalition forces have been killed, and 15,000 US soldiers have been wounded.

  • On average, one American soldier dies per day.


Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes in search of safety. Millions more have decided to relocate to neighboring countries.

  • 415,000 people have been displaced within Afghanistan.

  • 400 people become internally displaced every day.

  • Nearly three million people have fled the country entirely.


Afghanistan is one of the poorest places in the world.

  • Afghanistan has one of the highest infant morality rates in the world. One in six children will die before their fifth birthday.

  • Nearly one million children under five are acutely malnourished. Thirty percent of all lack access to basic nutrition.

  • Only thirty percent of the population has access to electricity.

  • Twenty seven percent of the Afghan population does not have access to clean water.

  • The average life expectancy of Afghan people today is around 44 years.

  • Forty two percent of the Afghan population lives at the poverty line.

Wasted Wealth

By the end of 2013 this war will have cost $641 billion, with no real end in sight. This is a horrible waste of wealth and resources that could have been used to meet people’s needs rather than causing death and destruction.

A War Without End

Despite what President Obama says, the plan is to maintain this war against the Afghan people indefinitely. There is no plan to end the war, or rebuild the country. The lives of most Afghans are devastated. How is this an end to war? The idea that the U.S. is rebuilding the country is a joke. An economy that provides good jobs does not exist and widespread access to basic resources such as water, health care, and education is nonexistent. In fact, war will continue to devastate the people of Afghanistan as long as we allow the U.S. government to carry out its policies of domination and occupation.