—Empathy in Ruin—
Children stare into a car that had been recently peppered with bullets by US Marines during the 2007 Shinwar Massacre in Shinwar District, Nargahar Province, Afghanistan. (PC: Aaron Huey @argonautphoto )
On March 7, 2007, a US Marine convoy composing of multiple Humvees was attacked by an SVBIED belonging to the Hezb-i Islami Khalis militant group on a busy road in the village of Spinpul in Shinwar District. One Marine was injured. The convoy then fled and began to fire indiscriminately on passing cars and civilians over a span of multiple miles. The civilian casualty numbers from the massacre range from 5 to 19 fatalities based on varying reports and over 50 injured. While no criminal charges were brought to the Marines in question, multiple officers were given letters of reprimand by the US Department of Defense. American government officials and generals formally apologized for the incident. Over fifty Afghans were given $2,000 each in compensation funds by the US government. In January of 2018, all Marines involved in the massacre were fully exonerated after a final review from the Court of Inquiry which concluded that “the Marines acted in accordance with the applicable operations order, the rules of engagement, and the law of armed conflict”.