Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's not like he's in charge or anything....

Admiral Michael Mullen, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has discovered (surprise! surprise!) that we're killing large numbers of civilians with our bombing campaign in Afghanistan:

Two weeks ago, a US air strike in Afghainstan’s Farah Province killed around 140 civilians, making it by far the deadliest single incident since the 2001 American invasion. Such incidents, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen today conceded, are putting America’s strategy in the seemingly endless war in jeopardy.

“We cannot succeed in Afghanistan or anywhere else, but let’s talk specifically about Afghanistan, by killing Afghan civilians,” Admiral Mullen declared today at a talk at the Brookings Institution. “We can’t keep going through incidents like this and expect the strategy to work.”

The toll sparked protests from local civilians, and a demand from Afghan President Hamid Karzai to end all US air strikes inside the nation. Admiral Mullen insisted that rules had been in place for months to avoid civilian casualties, and offered no new solutions in the wake of the Farah killings, except to say “we can’t tie our troops’ hands behind their backs.” Yet, it seems, not doing so is a recipe for continued civilians deaths.


So, to sum up the professional head of America's miitary establishment: (1) indiscriminate bombing is bad and may cost us the war, (2) but he can't come up with anything better.

Even shorter Admiral Mullen: Change. Ain't. Gonna. Happen

1 comment:

Perry said...

Right, Steve, and we're triggering what one critic said is the worst humanitarian crisis since Rwanda. There are up to a million refugees fleeing the Swat Valley, dislodged by the warfare activities in the region. Perhaps logistically we and the Pakistanis have no other alternatives, but I wonder. The current tactics are only making the situation worse, as mentioned, and politically as well, since this will certainly enrage the victims and their allies, and expand the influence of the Taliban and al Qaeda driven insurgents.

Perry Hood