President Donald Trump criticized unnecessary foreign military intervention frequently as a candidate and even while serving in the oval office, but the reality of his policies is not much different than what occurred under his predecessors. The Trump administration is severely underestimating civilian causalities from the warfare being conducted against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
For the month of July, the Pentagon only counted 13 of the 37 reports of civilian casualties as valid in their official statement. From these 13 “credible” reports, the Pentagon estimated that there were 61 unintentional civilian deaths that came as the result of their strikes. This is a much lower estimate than what is being reported by non-partisan NGOs that track these figures independently.
“Airwars, a UK-based NGO that offers more comprehensive documentation, noted scores of US airstrike incidents, and several hundred killed in the strikes. Indeed, strikes in just the first week in the city of Mosul killed an estimated 300 civilians, while hundreds were killed elsewhere, including 99 killed in a single 72-hour span in Raqqa,” foreign policy analyst Jason Ditz said in an Antiwar.com column.
The U.S. has accepted the responsibility for at least 685 civilian deaths because of air and artillery strikes since the conflict with ISIS began three years ago. Additionally, U.S. and its allies are investigating an additional 455 reports of civilian casualties that have resulted from the conflict. The blowback resulting from these sustained war crimes could be catastrophic.
“The biggest incidents reported by media outlets and other groups often find themselves excluded from the US reports, or on those rare occasions when they do find their way into Pentagon reports, scores of deaths get revised dramatically downward to a mere fraction of the actual count,” Ditz said.
President Trump, despite his “America First” bluster, shows no sign of slowing down the imperial foreign policy of Bush and Obama, and feels no responsibility to inform the public about the true human cost of his militarism as well.