February 19, 2011

NATO "Unaware" of Afghan Civilian Casualties

From Reuters:
Joint operations by Afghan forces and NATO-led foreign troops have killed 64 civilians in eastern Kunar province, including many women and children, over the past four days, the provincial governor said.

"They were killed by ground and air strikes in Ghazi Abad district," Fazlullah Wahidi, governor of Kunar province, told Reuters on Sunday.

Wahidi said 20 of the dead were women, 29 were children or young adults aged 7 to 20, and the remaining 15 were adult men.

Civilian casualties in NATO-led military operations, often caused by air strikes and night raids, have long been a source of friction between the Afghan government and its Western partners.

Rules governing air strikes and night raids have been tightened significantly by NATO-led forces in the past two years, leading to a sharp drop in civilian casualties caused by such incidents.

A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said they were investigating media reports 7 civilians may have been wounded in operations in Kunar but were not aware of any reports of civilian deaths.

ISAF said on Friday that more than 30 insurgents had been killed in an overnight mission in Kunar, and on Saturday that operations had been going on in Ghazi Abad since February 16.

Another ISAF statement on Sunday said ISAF had engaged an "unknown number of insurgents" in two separate operations and attacked with small-arms fire and air strikes. Both statements said initial reports indicated no civilian casualties.
While we don't outright reject a decrease in NATO-caused civilian casualties, WikiLeaks exposed how routine cover-ups are in Afghanistan. Washington claims to have put an end to this practice...


  1. I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else!

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  2. http://realityzone-realityzone.blogspot.com/2011/02/taliban-recruitment-easy-after-nato.html

  3. And Afghans hold foreign forces partially accountable even when the Taliban is responsible for their deaths.

  4. The Afghans see the West as occupiers.
    They see the Taliban as their own.
    Right or wrong.

  5. Yeah. I never get excited about this collateral damage. What Gundun says above is true. Even Petreaus made that point in London. Collateral damage is part and parcel of all COIN. That's why the counter insurgents are fated to lose the war no matter how long they wage it and no matter how many battles they "win".

  6. Not Petreaus. That other general....

  7. McChrystal's on the speaking tour now.

    It's become common knowledge that Petraeus is hoping to connect Afghans to the central government by destroying property, and in some cases lives. A very strange method of counterinsurgency, to say the least.

  8. Alternative reports out of the flattened Tarok Kalache village: http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=54531

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