Monday, May 11, 2009

I hear they're worried this state might fail

An end to air strikes in Afghanistan, demanded by President Hamid Karzai after scores of civilians were allegedly killed this week, would deprive Afghan troops of vital protection, a US official said Friday.
You know, in some countries, the government gets to decide what protection the armed forces should receive from allies.


Voter said...

FWIW, here's the view of a US soldier in Afghanistan that I know:

I will come home from this tour and be able to look any one of you in the eye and tell you with a clear conscience that our guys make every reasonable effort – and then some – to avoid hurting any non combatants. To the point of putting our own guys at a disadvantage. In the May 4th action in Farah that has been an issue in the news the bomb sight cameras on the B-1 that took out the target clearly showed a LARGE number of enemy fighters evading into the buildings just before they were hit. Prior to any US involvement the Taliban executed three Afghan government officials and then killed five Afghan police officers who responded. We showed up as a Quick Reaction Force, got into a firefight with 200-300 enemy fighters, took casualties, and then ended up being portrayed in the media as the bad guys for fighting back. What do they expect us to do? I don’t know how these journalists can live with themselves.

President Karzai, who is playing the civilian casualties card himself, is up for reelection August 20th. As with any politician running for reelection he is going to say what people want to hear. It’s the nature of the beast. The media probably doesn’t mention that Karzai’s younger brother is involved in every construction company in Kandahar Province and the two of them are getting very wealthy on US taxpayers dollars. He certainly knows how to play both sides.

Toby said...

The US military expects the rules of engagement to be followed. I don't know how they can live with themselves.

Personally I don't know what responsibility lies where on the chain of command. I'm certainly not going to dump it all on the bottom.