Drawdown of Forces Leaves Afghanistan Exposed to Growing Violence

Military plane C130 flying during a sunset in Afghanistan.Soon after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Afghanistan was a principal target for the United States’ mission to root out terror. Today, as international and United States military and civilian forces withdraw from the region, Afghanistan is showing signs of returning to its violent and turbulent past, which tarnishes the sacrifice and legacy of those working in Afghanistan in an effort to rebuild the country.

The Afghanistan Landscape

Afghanistan has 34 provinces that are led by governors and represented in the national government by elected officials. Helmand and Kandahar are by far the deadliest Afghan provinces for those serving in the United States military or working in Afghanistan as an employee of a government contractor. Kabul province is the home of Afghan’s national government and host to some of the thousands of Department of Defense contractor personnel working in Afghanistan in support of relief and military efforts.

US Installations in Afghanistan

In support of its mission in the region, the United States and its international partners have set up many military installations throughout Afghanistan. These include forward operating bases such as Fenty, Orgun, Salerno, Sharana, and Geronimo, camps such as Bastion Airfield and Camp Leatherneck, as well as other major installations such as Bagram Air Base. Military and government contractors working in Afghanistan in IT, security, construction, and logistic roles are often operating out of a United States installation.

History of US Involvement

For over 15 years the United States has backed the Afghanistan government and supported its rule by propping up its military and local police in their administration of law enforcement and human services. As part of that support the United States has provided weapons, training, and funds to Afghanistan, approaching over $100 billion dollars. Over the years, much of the work has been done by the United States military and those government contractors working in Afghanistan. While the United States military is widely known for its heroic and dangerous missions within Afghanistan, government contractors working in Afghanistan often provide needed humanitarian relief and help repairing war-torn assets of the community and public service.

Violence and Injury in Afghanistan

Unfortunately, some of the immense resources committed to the Afghanistan mission have fallen into the hands of those opposing the United States-backed Afghanistan regime. Many areas once considered relatively safe have become havens for rogue violence and the illegal use of weapons and guns that spread death, violence, and civil unrest. As a result, common situations in everyday life are subject to tragedy and injury in Afghanistan.

Non-Afghan forces in Afghanistan have declined by approximately 90% over the past five years. The drawdown of the international and United States military presence will likely lead to an increase in injury and death among those left in Afghanistan as the country’s military and local police struggle to maintain control over a country that has been in turmoil for much of the past decade. This has required most people to take safety into their own hands and has resulted in the armament of all those who lack other protection from a strong national police force.

The Afghan government has only a few hundred thousand military and police allocated to the protection of innocents from outlaw violence. To make this resource problem worse, those serving in Afghanistan’s military and police forces are often disorganized and prone to not living up to their mission of upholding justice and safety. These increasingly dangerous conditions leave the military and government contractors Afghanistan subject to increased injury and violence. Those government contractors returning home all too often bring with them permanent and devastating injuries as a result of working in Afghanistan.

Help for Those Injured in Afghanistan

The Defense Base Act requires that government contractors maintain adequate workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees that were injured while working on U.S. military base or installation in Afghanistan. If you are injured while working in Afghanistan as a government contractor, you may be entitled to benefits under the Defense Base Act. The Defense Base Act provides compensation to those employees injured or tragically killed as a result of their employment. Benefits can include compensation for your partial or total disability or the tragic death of a loved one. If your injury requires ongoing medical treatment, you will also be entitled to continuing medical treatment your injuries.

Injured in Afghanistan Attorneys

Barnett, Lerner, Karsen & Frankel, P.A. are personal injury attorneys specializing in the representation of those injured in Afghanistan and pursuing available relief provided by the Defense Base Act, which helps civilians working at United States bases and installations in Afghanistan and around the world. Pursuing your claim under the Defense Base Act is a complex process and subject to many procedural and substantive requirements mandated by federal law, which could affect the outcome of your claim. The attorneys at Barnett, Lerner, Karsen & Frankel, P.A. are experienced in claims and benefits arising under The Defense Base Act and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act who know how to advocate for your rights as a civilian contractor injured in Afghanistan. If you are injured while working for a government contractor in Afghanistan, contact Barnett, Lerner, Karsen & Frankel, P.A. to get the advice and guidance you need so you receive the compensation you deserve.