Mapping Allegations of US War Crimes in Afghanistan

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May 14, 2013 Worldview 1 Satellite Imagery


The information in this report is based on Matthieu Aikins' reports for Rolling Stone and The Nation, as well as investigations carried by the UN. Photos of victims and their burial sites were provided by relatives and the Afghan police. Photos of COP Nerkh and Zikria Kandahari are taken from publicly available Facebook posts. Learn more about this report in a post by Aikins at The Nation.

Matthieu Aikins is a Schell Fellow at The Nation Institute, and has reported on Afghanistan since 2008 for Harper's, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, and The New Yorker.

SITU Research is an interdisciplinary practice working in design, visualization and spatial analysis. Focused on developing innovative strategies and new tools, SITU Research leverages a strong foundation in architecture, materials and digital instrumentation to collaborate with and contribute to a diverse array of fields. A core value of SITU Research is the applied nature of its work - the studio seeks to address challenges grounded in urgent contemporary spatial issues - be they social, scientific or artistic.

"The A-Team Killings," Rolling Stone, November 6, 2013.

"The US May Have Gone on a Murder Spree in Afghanistan: Did the Army Cover it Up?," The Nation, September 2, 2015.
"Afghanistan, Left in the Dark: Failures of Accountability for Civilian Casualties Caused by International Military Operations in Afghanistan," Amnesty International, August 11, 2014.
"U.S. Army Reopens Criminal Inquiry Into Afghan Civilians’ Deaths," The New York Times, August 24, 2015.
"2013 Mid-Year Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict," The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, July 31, 2013.

The Special Forces Deploy

In the winter of 2012, a twelve-man US Army Special Forces team, ODA 3124, from the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, deployed to Nerkh, a volatile district in Wardak Province in central Afghanistan. Their outpost, Combat Outpost (COP) Nerkh, had previously been occupied by an Army infantry company, but with the drawdown of US forces underway in Afghanistan, the Special Forces were asked to take over. They soon found themselves embroiled in intense fighting in parts of Wardak that had long been insurgent bastions. In October, 2012, a senior member of ODA 3124, their team sergeant, was shot and seriously wounded in the leg during a gunbattle.

The Special Forces Deploy