Addressing civilian harm is now one of ISAF's key counterinsurgency tools, but with the level of accumulated mistrust over the lack of disclosure illustrated by these war logs, it may be coming 9 years too late.
Even if we achieved the goal we are apparently trying to achieve in Afghanistan--victory over the Taliban--it wouldn't put an end to international terrorism&mdash. It likely wouldn't even put a dent in it.
We have around 100,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. We've given them an impossible task (Here's some cash and a machine gun, now go make a state), and every time we have a raid like the one in our video, their job gets harder.
"Afghan lawmaker says relative killed after U.S. soldiers raided her home." After nine years in which such headlines have appeared with unceasing regularity, I could have written the rest of it myself while on vacation.
Arguments in favor of a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan should include readiness to examine disturbing patterns of misinformation regarding U.S./NATO attacks against Afghan civilians.
General McChrystal knew that you stop insurgent threats through good intelligence and trust among the community. It only takes one night raid to undermine years of tactical restraint and goodwill-building measures.
I spoke with a man who lost a cousin and a future daughter-in-law during that awful special forces night raid. Hearing the story from a person who was there really drives home the necessity of ending this brutal, costly war.
What does it mean for McChrystal's people to apologize for killing innocent people and lying about it, only to have them turn around and keep repeating the same behavior? Why should we be moved or lend credulity to such apologies?