Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Afghan ambassador calls for strategy change

Said Tayeb Jawad, the Afghan ambassador to the U.S., has called for a change in tactics by U.S. and NATO forces to limit the number of civilian causalities, Voice of America reported Monday. The call comes after an air strike Friday in the Helmand Province which killed a number of Afghan civilians.

“When NATO is short of helicopters and soldiers and other (things), they have to rely on high altitude bombing, which is inaccurate and causes actually a high degree of civilian deaths,” Jawad said. As the Taliban’s tactic of hiding among civilians will not change, the allied operations must be altered to remain effective to the overall mission, he added.

Among the reasons cited by the ambassador for the spike in civilian deaths is insufficient intelligence gathering by U.S. and NATO forces as a means of implementing a calculated attack against the Taliban.

Recent comments by President Hamid Karzai have characterized the U.S.-NATO operations as “careless” in regards to the safety of Afghans.

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