Do we know this FOR A FACT or is the Boston Globe just making it up?!
there is a crucial caveat that Gates and President Obama need to keep in mind as they evaluate the new commanders and their new strategy. McChrystal and the new number two commander in Afghanistan, Lieutenant General David Rodriguez, must make one tenet in their guerrilla warfare playbook an absolute priority: protection of the civilian population.
The Taliban are reaping benefits from a dynamic that should be familiar from other guerrilla wars. When Taliban fighters stage an ambush, US forces frequently feel compelled to call in air strikes or artillery fire. And all too often, as happened last week, innocent Afghan villagers are hurt or killed.
The inevitable outcome is widespread anger against the foreign army. This is what Afghan President Hamid Karzai lamented again and again last week during a visit to Washington. He begged Americans to stop killing Afghan civilians.
US forces frequently feel compelled to call in air strikes or artillery fire
That the way we wage war. I’m sure the Afghan Prez would rather have us use tasers and kid gloves and lose 10,000 troops but that ain’t the way we do it.
We should have someone comment on how many civilians the talis kill every stinking month.
So does that mean that American casualties will now go up? If so, that should please the Left.
I’m certain there are unfortunate incidents of civilian innocents losing their lives accidentally caught up in this war comprised of exploding ordnance, and lead, however there is also a quantity disinformation that is disseminated from the region.
I have read often over the years of Karzai’s use of those civilian casualties for financial gain. Apparently he claims inflated numbers of such civilian casualties, and uses those numbers, and the grief of “the families of those innocents” to wrench funding allegedly for their families from our Treasury.
It’s difficult to be such a cynic due the topic, but as many times as I’ve read about Karzai approaching our Government with inflated numbers contrary to the statistics provided by our own military, and our Government caving to the apparent faux outrage of Karzai due the necessity of his assistance in the area, providing large monitary contributions each event then I haven’t a choice but to be a cynic.
It's probably true that civilians are being killed by airstrikes, although probably not in anywhere near the numbers being cited.
In a guerilla war, however, the exact truth matters far less than does the perceived truth. If the bad guys can convince the general population around them that the Americans don't care about their lives, the local population is more likely to support them.
That was the dynamic in play in Iraq for several years. It turned around for two reasons. First, the bad guys in Iraq killed so many Iraqis that it could no longer be overlooked. And second, Petraeus' strategy put Americans in direct contact with everyday Iraqis, which directly countered what the propaganda said.
Something similar has to be done in Afghanistan, although the particulars would undoubtedly be different.
One thing's certain, though -- reliance on "death from above," while tactically effective, has significant downsides when one is trying to decouple the population from the guerillas.
I swear every swinging d that goes to the Pentagon to work should be required to read and take an extensive test on âThe Art of Warâ.
If you are talking the games the Taliban and Karzai play, I have heard it from several sources the past few days. The discussion I heard was in the context of Hillary’s response to such an event (almost apologetic) only to discover it was a Taliban setup.
I heard (on O’reilly last night) the Taliban had killed the civilians before we ever got involved and then blamed the bombing for the deaths.
Its a trick to get us to stop bombing.
The Taliban is getting blowed up and they don’t like it.
“...make one tenet in their guerrilla warfare playbook an absolute priority: protection of the civilian population”
What about kick the sh$% out of the terrorists and make them eat their own a$$es?