PUL-I-ALAM, Afghanistan – The American soldiers stormed into the
Afghan family’s compound in the middle of the night, kicking in doors
and shouting. They ordered everyone into the yard, bound their hands,
covered their heads and interrogated them for hours before taking away
three men who had done nothing wrong.
At least that’s the way the Afghans tell it.
NATO has a different account of the raid: A force led
by Afghans was searching for a Taliban leader and got a tip from
residents that three insurgents were living in the compound. The force
struck at night when the suspects were likely to be home and took all
three away for further questioning. The troops were as respectful as
they could be, given that they had to make sure no one started shooting
This happens in Afghanistan nearly every night.
Sometimes the men turn out to be bombmakers or fighters, sometimes
ordinary civilians. But in every case there are angry family members who
feel violated or mistreated.
The U.S. will likely rely more and more on night
raids as it shifts to a strategy of using special operators and drones
to track down and kill Taliban leaders following President Barack
Obama’s announcement Wednesday that 30,000 U.S. troops will leave
Afghanistan by next summer.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly condemned night operations as unnec… >>>