Thursday, August 27, 2009

Afghanistan: winning hearts and minds by attacking one medical clinic at a time

Some days it's difficult work, and some days they just hand it to you.

First, our new hearts-and-minds approach in Afghanistan:

KABUL — International soldiers in Afghanistan to wipe out a Taliban insurgency were Thursday issued tips on how to minimise civilian casualties as the war intensifies and foreign troop deaths hit record numbers.

General Stanley McChrystal, head of more than 100,000 US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, issued "counter-insurgency guidelines" aimed at winning the hearts and minds of Afghans increasingly impatient with the foreign military presence.
"Protecting the people is the mission," McChrystal told troops.

"The Afghan people will decide who wins this fight and we (the Afghan government and NATO troops) are in a struggle for their support."

And here we are implementing this strategy:

US and Afghan forces, backed by a US Apache helicopter attacked a medical clinic in the Paktika Province of Afghanistan yesterday after receiving reports that a wounded Taliban commander had “sought treatment” at the facility.

See, it's so easy to win hearts and minds when all your actions are coordinated, right?

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