“All of us as commanders have reminded our senior leadership … the war in Afghanistan has not ended, [just] the combat mission for NATO,” General Philip Breedlove told Stars and Stripes, according to an article published Thursday.
“It’s hard to say, but we are going to continue to have [U.S.] casualties” in Afghanistan, Breedlove continued, according to journalist Carlo Munoz. “It is going to be unavoidable.”
Meanwhile, Afghan society continues to pay a steep price for U.S.-led war and occupation of Afghanistan, which has been waged over 13 years and counting.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reports that 2014 was the deadliest year for Afghan civilians since the global body began making such reports in 2009. Civilian casualties overall were up 19 percent from 2013, rising to 33 percent among children, UNAMA reports. These numbers do not include the impact of social upheaval, mass displacement, poverty, and starvation on the Afghan population.
Breedlove’s statements come amid fresh revelations that the Obama administration still considers Afghanistan an “area of active hostilities” and therefore has determined that drone reforms ostensibly aimed at reducing civilian deaths do not apply in the country.
Furthermore, they follow numerous Obama administration maneuvers to prolong the war, including the signing of the Bilateral Security agreement with Afghanistan, which extends U.S. presence at least another decade, and the passage of an order authorizing a more expansive U.S. military mission at least through this year.