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What the End of 2013 Didn't Bring: An End to the Occupation of Afghanistan

'The war was doomed to fail before it began, and I fear we've still learned nothing.'

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

If the Bilateral Security Agreement is signed, the occupation of Afghanistan could stretch 23 years.(Photo: U.S. Department of Defense)2013 is drawing to a close, but the war in Afghanistan—now in its 13th year—continues, with the prospect of a 23-year occupation being added to the annals of U.S. militarism.

For Afghan civilians, the year brought increased casualties.

As of the end of November 2013, 2,730 Afghan civilians had been killed in violence during the year, a 10 percent increase compared to the same period of 2012, according to United Nations figures.

NATO casualties during the year, in contrast, dropped from 394 in 2012 to 151 in 2013, according to a tally by the Associated Press.

Results of a CNN poll published Monday showed that 82 percent of Americans oppose the war in Afghanistan, a percentage higher than any Gallup poll showed for opposition to the Vietnam war.

Despite this shrinking public support, the Pentagon continues to press the Afghan government to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement, which would ensure the extension of the U.S. occupation an additional decade.

"American history tells us [the invasion of Afghanistan] was wrong. Afghan history tells us it was wrong," Suraia Sahar of Afghans United for Justice previously told Common Dreams. "The war was doomed to fail before it began, and I fear we've still learned nothing."

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