|World Council of Churches - 21 September is the |
International Day of Prayer for Peace
Are non-combatants protected from violence?
The extended information now available through Wikileaks paints a picture of considerable death and injury caused to civilians and non-combatants and chronicles over 20 separate occasions when British troops are said to have bombed or shot Afghan civilians – identifying at least 26 people killed and another 20 wounded as a result. According to The Observer, (26 September 2010), no British soldier has been prosecuted in relations to operations in Afghanistan. A report in September 2010 by the Afghanistan Study Group, a reputable and specialist US organisation, said that ‘many more civilian deaths have occurred than have been officially acknowledged as a result of US and allied strike accidents’.
speech in September 2010, expressed the view that ‘high civilian casualty rates exponentially increase hostility. They might not force Afghans actively to support the Taliban but it will certainly stop them opposing anyone who wants to kill those who have killed their loved ones.’ Non-combatant immunity is fundamental to the just war theory. The huge loss of civilian lives, regardless of whether they were directly or indirectly intended, undermines any justification of the war.
Read the full report.
This video is an introduction to the report from Norman Shanks, one of the authors.
Read the response of the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the report.