Saturday, April 21, 2007

NATO troops earn resentment of frustrated Afghans

Here again is more of the same: the populations in eastern and southern Afghanistan are being brutalized by raids from neighboring areas in Pakistan but are disgusted with the NATO and American forces on their side of the border who can't seem to get it right. They are not protecting adequately and when they do do something they end up brutalizing even their friends. For the people on the ground it would seem to be a hopeless situation.

By David Morgan

"Foreign troops deployed in Afghanistan are beginning to draw the resentment of Afghans fed up with growing civilian casualties and the lack of material progress in their lives"
"...villagers who have suffered from Western military firepower have responded to the Taliban's call to arms against foreign troops..."
" 'There is growing resentment because of the kinds of military operations that have been carried out, not because of the international troop presence,' Samina Ahmed, South Asia project director for International Crisis Group think tank"
"Ahmed ... cited bombing raids based on faulty intelligence that have killed innocent villagers and shootings of innocent civilians by panicky troops..."
"Violence in Afghanistan last year was the worst since U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban in late 2001. About one-quarter of the 4,000people killed in 2006 were civilians."
"The warnings about eroding support came as NATO commanders conducted a spring offensive code-named Operation Achilles against Taliban strongholds in a bid to pre-empt an expected warmer weather seasonal campaign by Islamist militants."

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