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McChrystal on Civilian Casualties

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) asked Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal how he views the strategic importance of reducing civilian casualties and how he intends to reduce

Elisa Mueller
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jun 02, 2009

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) asked Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal how he views the strategic importance of reducing civilian casualties and how he intends to reduce them in Afghanistan.

“I believe the perception caused by civilian casualties is one of the most dangerous enemies we face,” McChrystal said, as the loss of popular support “will be strategically decisive,” which is to say the war will be lost. He vows to review “all” U.S. procedures in Afghanistan to ensure that casualties will be minimized “except in self-defense.” McChrystal expects he’ll need more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets to get “more precision … to reduce civilian casualties and to reduce the impact [of U.S. troops] on the civilian population.” It’s not “a panacea,” but “the more you’ve got, the smarter you are as a force.”

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.

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