Sunday, March 11, 2012


A story was posted concerning a Sergeant in the U.S. Army who reportedly killed sixteen Afghan civilians including 9 children and 3 women.  This tragedy will only serve to worsen already strained relations between the United States and the Afghan governments. This most recent round of intense violence began when the remains of burned Qurans were discovered by Afghan workers at a U.S. base. This discovery sparked riots in the streets and reprisal killings by Afghan security forces. When considering these events and the yet unsolved killings of two U.S. officials in the Afghan interior ministry one would think that there would be a shift or reevaluation of U.S. policy in Afghanistan. Yet the Pentagon has stated that they will continue to execute their current plan for the foreseeable future. In my opinion this is the correct course of action. This series of events, as tragic as they may be, must be as studied as a part of the larger conflict. The death of innocents and soldiers is always a tragic affair but when considering the intent of the enemy is to win a victory, martial or otherwise, by any means necessary it is important to maintain control of what you can and avoided allowing the insurgents or other forces to dictate your course of action. This does not mean that you should be unresponsive to events but that you should retain at least a semblance of control and awareness in every situation.  The Pentagon is reflecting this choice by pulling U.S. officials out of Afghan ministries but continuing to pursue a strategy of winning hearts and minds.This strategy has been dealt a brutal blow by recent events but it has been the most successful strategy since the genesis of these types of conflicts in the middle east. As such until there is a better option or U.S. goals have been achieved there is little else to be done. 

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