civilians have died in Afghanistan during the past three months. Civilian
casualties have doubled in the past two years, largely as a result of more
civilians resisting the Taliban with force. A major reason for that is the
continued Taliban use of civilians as human shields. As word of this practice
got around, and general dislike of the Taliban grew, more villages organized to
repulse Taliban attempts to visit. Less than a third of the dead are civilians
killed by smart bombs. But these, and any civilian death involving foreign
troops, get major play in Taliban propaganda.
Afghans, in general, don't
like foreigners. In fact, Afghans don't like unrelated Afghans very much
either, especially those who come from other tribes or ethnic groups. But
foreigners are the favorite group to hate and, in general, dump on. The Taliban
harp on this constantly, because a major goal of the Taliban is to drive all
foreigners (and non-Sunni Moslems) out of the country.