|"Ordinary Afghans—who are always left out of the calculations of American experts—are the first to suffer and the last to be included in war plans."
On the same day a bombing by U.S. military forces in Afghanistan reportedly killed 11 Afghan civilians, including women and children, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) offered up his proposal for "winning" the 16-year-long war in Afghanistan on Thursday by essentially calling for it to continue endlessly.
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who denounced the Trump administration for offering "no strategy at all" for the war thus far, is putting forth his proposal as an amendment to 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. It includes increasing the number of combat troops, cementing "a long-term, open-ended" U.S. presence in the country, and affording the U.S. military broader authority to target extremist groups.
Among the details, as noted in McCain's press statement:
It also comes as civilian deaths in the country are at record high levels, with women and children taking a particular toll.
The grim trend continued on Thursday in the eastern province of Nangarhar when a U.S. airstrike reportedly struck a civilian vehicle.
Saaz Wali Shinwari, the district governor of Haska Mina in Nangarhar province, said to Agence France-Presse, "Eleven people were killed and one wounded. All the victims, which included women and children, were civilians and they were from one family."
"The victims were beyond recognition, and they were placed inside the sacks and were buried late last night," Shinwari told AFP.
Referring to Prince's plans, and offering a rebuttal to the kind of approach McCain is advocating, author and activist Sonali Kolhatkar writes: "Neither the Pentagon nor a high-profile mercenary is capable of ending the harrowing war in Afghanistan. Ordinary Afghans—who are always left out of the calculations of American experts—are the first to suffer and the last to be included in war plans. All that the U.S. is doing in Afghanistan today is adding to the violence through its sheer presence in the country."