As President Barack Obama sends an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan to bring forth democracy and freedom for that nation, I wonder something neither the media nor the military has brought up: For whom are we ending terrorism?

In a region of the world where women are raped, burned and murdered each day, in addition to many others being trafficked for prostitution simply because they happened to have been born female, it is a moral imperative that the U.S. military also works to end gender terrorism in its efforts to fight "traditional" forms of terrorism.

These terrorist acts are often not done at the hands of terrorists, but rather ordinary citizens who, for too long, have hidden behind the veils of religion to unleash systematic practices of misogyny on women and girls for simply rejecting the marriage proposals of a suitor, wishing to go to school, or in many cases, seeming to lack "purity."

Until the U.S. directly addresses these issues, through both the military and foreign policies, its goals of bringing freedom and democracy to these troubled regions will have failed, as its desired end state ignores the plights of half of the region’s population and a group whose sufferings and concerns often go unaddressed in wars as well as the reconstruction periods thereafter.

No matter how successful this next campaign in Afghanistan turns out to be, girls will continue to suffer and women will die, if we do not take a stand through training the Afghan population on gender equality issues and support international anti-domestic violence programs, including the International Violence Against Women Act and other proven methods of women empowerment, to end the personal terrorism that renders women powerless and fearful for their lives.

Sgt. Marc LoiCamp Victory, Iraq

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now