Whether it was drone strikes or air raids, liberal war and counterterrorism experts were obsessed with the idea that we were having so much trouble because we were alienating Afghans by causing civilian casualties.
The Hearts and Minds approach crippled the fight against the Taliban by denying air and artillery support to American soldiers, failed to win over anyone and dramatically increased Afghan civilian casualties… At the hands of the Taliban.
Civilians are bearing the brunt of the violence in Afghanistan. According to a U.N. report released Tuesday, more than 3,000 civilians have been killed and wounded in the first five months of this year. A fifth of those were children.
The head of the U.N. Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, Jan Kubis, said the situation in the country has worsened, with civilian casualties up 24 percent compared to the same period last year. He said insurgent attacks are responsible for three quarters of those casualties, and targeting civilians is unacceptable.
It’s acceptable for the Taliban and the only force capable of stopping them decided that the best way to do it was to let the Taliban use them as human shields in order to win their hearts and minds.