Afghanistan Seeing Most Violent Year Since 2001: Does Anyone Care?

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Here at Mother Jones we’ve tried to draw some attention to the fact that Afghanistan is going horribly, horribly wrong right under our noses. Peter Bergen tracked the Iraqization of Afghanistan, Kevin Patterson poignantly illustrated the lack of adequate frontline medicine in that country, and Lana Slezic documented the awful plight of women there in a series of beautiful photographs.

But it doesn’t seem to be working. Afghanistan is currently enduring its most violent year since the 2001 intervention, according to the U.N. Department of Safety and Security, and few members of the American press seem to care.

Thankfully, McClatchy has been paying attention, at least. Here’s excerpts from their reporting:

There were 525 security incidents — attacks by the Taliban and other violent groups, bombings, terrorism of other kinds, and abductions — on average every month during the first half of this year, up from an average of 425 incidents per month in 2006.

[snip]

Guerrillas have been staging fewer conventional attacks on U.S.-led NATO forces and Afghan troops and relying more heavily on suicide attacks, improvised explosive devices, assassinations, intimidation and abductions.

Sound like any place you know?

I have no idea why the Democratic leadership in Congress and the Democratic presidential candidates don’t shove this information in the faces of American voters. It serves, from my point of view, as a pretty persuasive argument for redeployment out of Iraq. But then, maybe they are afraid that voters weary of one Middle Eastern conflict don’t want to see troops thrown right into another one. Even if it’s one we still have a chance to win.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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