Many Challenges As U.S. Forces Go After Taliban

Eikenberry has a difficult role, trying to walk that fine line between military needs and an Afghan government widely seen as ineffective and corrupt. And in the middle of it all, he’s already been faced with a civilian casualty nightmare after U.S.. aircraft dropped as many as a dozen bombs, some weighing a ton, as they went after militants.

He visited the scene out in Farah Province with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and promised the U.S. would do more to avoid civilian casualties. But Eikenberry never got too specific — he talked about getting more intelligence to pinpoint exactly where the enemy is before dropping bombs, and making sure the Afghan forces are in the lead.

There is rising anger here about the civilian losses, from both the average Afghan citizen and senior Afghan officials, like Karzai. The Afghan leader wants an end to all bombing, and an end to night operations. American military officials say there are times when bombing might be necessary to protect U.S. and Afghan forces, and that the U.S. military “owns the night” having an edge with night vision goggles and other equipment that give them an edge over the Taliban. They say they will never end night ops.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Terrorism, War in Afghanistan