• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

Time for a Really Uncomfortable Conversation About Handling Afghan Civilian Casualties

A U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan’s Herat Province yesterday killed an insurgent leader named Ghulam Yahya Akbari. Today, the U.S. military command in Afghanistan sent out a press release about the steps that U.S. and Afghan officials are taking to respond to reports of Afghan civilian casualties. U.S. troops are inspecting the airstrike site while Afghan troops hold a sit-down with local potentates. It’s a goodwill gesture. But does it go far enough?

Explains a coalition spokesman:

“We take all reports of non-combatant casualties very seriously and investigate these claims with the assistance of our Afghan forces counterparts,” said Lt. Col. Rick Helmer, U.S. Forces Afghanistan spokesperson.

“If, during the course of investigation, it is discovered that any non-combatants were killed or injured in the strike we will take responsibility and make amends. However, it has been a past practice of the insurgents to surround themselves with women and children knowingly placing them in danger,” said Helmer.

On the one hand, it sound as if the United States is conducting a thorough and respectful process to head off a potential problem. But on the other, Defense Secretary Bob Gates recently proposed a different formula for handling reports of possible civilian casualties from U.S. military actions in Afghanistan: apologize first and investigate later.

Gates didn’t say that because he wants to humiliate U.S. troops in Afghanistan. He said it because he recognizes the delicate situation the United States is in with regard to Afghan public opinion. Favorable public opinion among Afghans toward the United States is decreasing while civilian casualties are on the way up. And now 17,000 additional U.S. troops are on the way to Afghanistan. In the struggle between the U.S.-supported Kabul government and the Taliban-led and Al Qaeda-tied insurgency, the perspective of the Afghan people isn’t an aspect of the war. It’s the entire war. Anything that jeopardizes Afghan receptivity to the United States is a strategic setback. Viewed from that perspective, it’s understandable why Gates would want any dialogue on civilian casualties — even potential civilian casualties — to begin with an apology.

None of which is to say that U.S. Forces-Afghanistan is doing anything wrong in Herat. A dialogue between Gates and Gen. David McKiernan, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, on the issue is only natural, and at a briefing McKiernan gave in the fall that I attended, he appeared very attuned to the damage that civilian casualties inflict on his effort. But perhaps it’s taking a while to absorb Gates’ perspective.

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.