NATO Airstrikes Kill Eight Afghan Civilians

Well, this will certainly help with that whole “win their hearts and minds” thing:

At least eight women have died in a Nato air strike in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Laghman, local officials say.

Nato has conceded that between five and eight civilians died as it targeted insurgents, and offered condolences.

The remote region in which the strike took place is out of the reach of central government, correspondents say.

(…)

Local officials in Laghman told the BBC at least eight women had died, while provincial council member Gulzar Sangarwal said nine were dead.

Major Adam Wojack, a spokesman for the Isaf international forces, said between five and eight civilians could have been killed, and said an investigation was under way.

He told the BBC that a group of some 45 insurgents had been targeted by an Isaf unit, and many had been killed.

“Unfortunately, we have become aware of possible Isaf-caused civilian casualties as a result of this strike, numbering five-eight Afghans,” he said.

“Isaf offers its sincerest condolences to the affected community and family members, as well as to the Afghan people, concerning this tragic loss of life.”

Obviously, this was not an intentional act, but that doesn’t really matter in some sense. Incidents like this end up getting exploited by the radicals as evidence of what our true intentions in the Muslim world are, and people believe them because they think they have no reason not to. When we wonder why people hate us, or why there have been so many “Green On Blue” attacks this year, things like this are one of the reasons.

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs, National Security, Quick Takes,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Sure, many of us disliked the air war from the beginning because we feared that a backdrop of “minimum civilian casualties” would be corrosive over time.

  2. swbarnes2 says:

    Obviously, this was not an intentional act, but that doesn’t really matter in some sense. Incidents like this end up getting exploited by the radicals as evidence of what our true intentions in the Muslim world are, and people believe them because they think they have no reason not to.

    That’s a very peculiar thing to say. The widowers and motherless children do not care what our intentions were. It’s not relevant to them what’s in our hearts, what’s relevent to them is that people died because we killed them.

    Isn’t it fairer to say that “Americans randomly kill innocent people in Afghanistan, and Afghanistan people know that.”?

    Do you and James realize how often you appeal to people’s ‘true’ intentions, while downplaying actual policies and outcomes?