One of the events that shaped the life of Howard Zinn was a bombing run he participated in near the end of WWII. He later learned that many hundreds of people were killed in that attack and that it was unnecessary three weeks prior to the end of the war. Military commanders would have known that there was no military need for the attack, but ordered it anyway, possibly for career advancement.
I think Barack Obama at this stage in the Afghan War may be justifiably accused of acting similarly. The war there is widely regarded as unwinnable. The situation is about as bleak as it has ever been in terms of the likelihood of winning a military victory. I am not in the know on such questions. Maybe that assessment is wrong. But if anybody would know it would be Barack Obama. If it's true, what to make of the massive death that the Afghans are being subjected to? Here's a horrifying story about a kill team in Afghanistan that frequently looked for isolated unarmed Afghan civilians to murder. In photos now public these soldiers are shown posing with a 15 year old boy they murdered in cold blood as if he were some sort of hunting trophy. These are isolated incidents to be sure and I know that many of our soldiers do their best to do what is right, but this is the kind of thing that will happen in a war zone. For it to continue under conditions where the leadership knew it was all pointless would be an enormous tragedy.
The American people overwhelmingly oppose this war. Atrocities against Afghans are rampant, as they are in all wars. I personally am unaware of a rationale for the violence in any case. Why do we want to overthrow the Taliban? They didn't attack us. And according to many experts, including RNC Chair Michael Steele, ex CIA officials, the President of the EU (revealed via Wikileaks), Congressman Jim Moran, and others, this war is not winnable. Sustaining a pointless and unwinnable war is nothing short of an outrage.