A New Way of War

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Getty Images / Battleland Graphics Laboratory

For more than a decade, we’ve been getting somber Pentagon emails telling us the name, hometown and age of every U.S. troop killed in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Noticed something new, at least to us, in Friday’s release from the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul detailing recent action in Afghanistan.

It reports on two enemy dead, which may be insignificant in the overall scheme of things.

But what’s interesting is that both men are named, and that each was killed in what ISAF called a “precision strike.”

Talk about having a bullet with your name on it.


before I saw the check which had said  4615, I didn't believe that my mother in law had been actualy bringing home money parttime on their computer.. there friends cousin has done this for under 21 months and at present repaid the mortgage on their appartment and purchased a new Lancia Straton. this is where I went, pie21.ℂom


It looks like a marketing gambit for drone-launched Hellfire missiles as a "precision instrument" which doesn't kill a lot of people in general but only "suspected terrorists."  Obama nixed detention and torture (at least publicly) in 2009, so the new policy is just kill suspects and of course they are always precision strikes. Sure.

There is even a Precision Strike Association
It's Directors are from the usual war profiteers-- Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, etc.

Regarding the general scene of the precision strikes, Dexter Filkins has written (July 2012) an excellent piece on Kunduz Province, a small province located in north Afghanistan. Some quotes:

Together, the militias set up to fight the Taliban in Kunduz are stronger than the government itself. Local officials said that there were about a thousand Afghan Army soldiers in the province—I didn’t see any . .

The confrontations between government forces and militias usually end with the government giving way. When riots broke out in February after the burning of Korans by American soldiers, an Afghan Army unit dispatched to the scene was blocked by Mir Alam’s men. “I cannot count on the Army or the police here,” Nashir said. “The police and most of the soldiers are cowards.” He was echoing a refrain I heard often around the country. “They cannot fight.”

Much of the violence and disorder in Kunduz, as elsewhere in Afghanistan, takes place beyond the vision of American soldiers and diplomats. German, Norwegian, and American soldiers are stationed in Kunduz, but, in the three days I spent there, I saw only one American patrol. The American diplomats responsible for Kunduz are stationed seventy-five miles away, in a heavily fortified base in Mazar-e-Sharif.


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