This past Saturday a U.S. missile strike in Mehterlam, Afghanistan, on a suspected terrorist site killed 16 people. While the U.S. military alleges all killed were terrorists, the government of Afghanistan recognizes that all 16 massacred were civilians.
President Hamid Karzai publicly denounced the attack and has sent requests to the United States and United Nations asking for greater Afghan oversight over the strikes. Karzai also pointed to such mistakes as an impetus for further fighting by terrorists in the region. Hundreds protested the massacre of civilians in Mehterlam on Sunday.
This event transpires admist President Obama's plan to double U.S. forces in that country. This Afghan "surge" would raise troop levels from 30,000 to over 60,000. Ultimately devastated by 30 years of near-constant war, Afghanistan remains one of the world's poorest countries. However, executive oil companies' plans since the 1990's have called for an oil pipeline through Afghanistan and beyond the Caspian Sea to circumvent Russia in delivering oil to Europe. This long-time initiative, now ever closer in sight, gives the largely untraversable country increased international importance.
The War in Afghanistan has entered its eighth year. After occupying that country from 1980-1988, the Soviet Union collapsed a year later.