by Patrick Appel
Steve Coll studies our Pakistan and Afghanistan policy:
It has been plain for some time...that the tactical advantage that the United States enjoys in Afghanistan because of its superior air power may be more than offset by the deepening resentments that aerial attacks produce in the minds of helpless civilians below. Four years ago, polls showed that eighty-three per cent of Afghans held a favorable view of the United States; today, only half do, and the trajectory is downward. Persistent civilian casualties caused by air strikes in rural Afghanistan are a major cause of this deterioration. American commanders say that they understand the problem, and the rate of such incidents has declined, but mistakes continue; dozens of Afghan civilians died earlier this month during a United States-led bombing raid in Farah Province.
More on this subject here.
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