It’s the wrong way

Posted on August 8, 2011

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The U.S. military’s single biggest loss in the Afghan War occurred on Saturday when 30 U.S. soldiers died. Their helicopter was shot down by Taliban forces.

The area where this tragedy occurred has seen an increase in Taliban support. Why?

Frequent night raids by U.S. soldiers have made civilians very angry. The raids are part of a U.S. strategy aimed at weakening insurgents, so that leaders agree to U.S./Afghan offers to hold talks on a political settlement. Except, it looks to be counter productive.

Roshanak Wardak, a doctor and a former member of the national Parliament said that the raids occur “every night. We are very much miserable. They are coming to our houses at night.”

While this strategy is effective over 50% of the time in eliminating insurgents, it does claim civilian lives. President Hamid Karzai has demanded that these night raids stop.

“The Americans are committing barbaric acts in the area and this is the reason that the Taliban have influence,” another civilian said.

So. Let’s break this down, shall we:

Night raids to eliminate insurgents.

Makes civilians angry.

Civilians sympathize with and join insurgents.

Insurgents kill our soldiers.

So…if you do the math…shouldn’t we NOT be conducting night raids? Am I missing something?

"Hmmmm"

You and me both, monkey.

Obviously our military has good intentions. We’re trying to set up peace talks so we can finally end this war. But night raids are only sparking retaliation against our soldiers. And what do you expect? If you break down the door of an Afghan family night after night after night and kill civilians, they’re not going to invite you over for dinner. Their frustration is going to build and they are going to side with whomever is fighting against it – which is the Taliban. And we definitely do not want that happening. It only puts our troops in greater danger.

The following is a clip from the documentary “Rethink Afghanistan”. It highlights just how unhappy and angry Afghan civilians are because of the war. One woman begs God to kill her, to put her out of her misery:

That cute little girl you see in the clip? Spoiler alert: she has since died. It’s heartbreaking. To watch more from this film, click here.

Ultimately, we’re trying to help the civilians of Afghanistan. But raiding their houses doesn’t make that clear to them, does it? We have the power to bring about positive change in Afghanistan, but only if we do it in the right way. As I see it, night raids are the…

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Posted in: Politics