With the release of new Pentagon reports, shocking details have been revealed about the programs and activities being funded under President Obama. During operations in Afghanistan, the new military being trained was involved in 75 gross human violations between 2010 and 2016.
Being aware of the misconduct, top officials continued with their support for the security forces. The 600-page report describes several of the war crimes being charged with child sexual assault. The report makes note the true extent of child abuse among the new government forces could not be known.
The newly declassified report was released on Tuesday but was originally presented to Congress last year. The report was prepared by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) after a 2015 article from the New York Times called “Bacha Bazi” extensive and widespread. The local term for pedophilia or sex trafficking, bacha bazi usually refers to small boys.
After the article was released, over 100 members of Congress called for an investigation into the matter. Along with the rampant sexual abuse, the investigation turned up an additional 22 crimes against Geneva that remain classified. The remaining 46 crimes included a litany of torture and executions of prisoners of war.
The report keeps its scope between the years of 2010 and 2016. The analysis of the inspector general also discovered military officials knew about the abuses in length and used legal loopholes to continue operations.
By funding and providing aid to the police and military forces being created under the new Afghan government, the United States was more than complicit in creating a market for slave and sex trafficking in the region.
The Leahy laws forbid the Pentagon and the State Department from doing business or providing support for foreign forces if they have a record of human rights violations. Calling it a security necessity, the military continued participating with the Afghanistan forces. Relying on the new security members to build a nation, the military suggested the abuses were a culturally accepted act of passage.
Without notifying Congress, the military circumvented oversight by enacting a “notwithstanding” clause that allowed for the continued appropriations. Despite the continued funding of the Afghan forces, the administration was not able to win full control of the country back from the Taliban.
Over hot contention, the Pentagon claimed the “notwithstanding” clause should not apply to Afghan units. The Senate Appropriations Committee removed the clause from the 2018 Defense Appropriations Act.
The committee was responding to the report made available to them in 2017. The report declared military assistance to Afghanistan should not continue unless the violations end.
Violations have been occurring since 2013 when the SIGAR analysis found a report conducted by the undersecretary of defense. Before approving funds, the Department of Defense found 14 human rights violations. Citing the “notwithstanding” clause, officials were able to sweep the horrifying abuses under the rug.
The Department of Defense since admitted that they continue to try and investigate and end child abuse across the globe. The SIGAR report, defense officials noted, could not account for every act of abuse.
The report represents only a small fraction of what may have been committed, the real extent may never be known.
One issue the newly released document brings to light is the break down in command for soldiers to safely report what may be considered immoral behavior. Many soldiers, while aware of child abuse occurring, were unaware of how to report incidents that involve U.S. officers or assets.
General John Nicholson, the commander of Resolute Support and U.S. Forces Afghanistan, announced new procedures in November of last year. Outlining a new process to report and recognize human violations, the new course will ease the strain of soldiers reporting on incidents.
The general also hired a special advisor to help protect Afghan children from abuse.
$71 billion later, the military presence has decreased exponentially from 100,000 in 2010 down to 10,000 under President Trump.
The security forces of Afghanistan are going to be the ones protecting the citizens sooner rather than later. The failed state still practices female genital mutilation (FGM) and like the great prophet, many adults have sex with children.
The immigration policies and travel ban of the president are aimed to keep culturally backward people away from Americans.
When police forces after to be told not to rape villages of small children the society as a whole has a different cultural norm than the west, and more work should be done abroad to end extremism before accepting a flood of refugees.