In light of recent air attacks which have resulted in the death of dozens of civilians, including numerous women and children, NATO has decided to revise the rules of engagement. General David McKiernan, NATO commander in Afghanistan. is reopening an inquiry into US drone strikes which have been responsible for numerous deaths of civilians. From now on, house searches will be led by Afghan troops and permission from homeowners first should be sought prior to entering homes. The size of bombs being used in Afghanistan will be reviewed. His order is to “sharpen tactical directives, to give more clarity to commanders on the ground.” He wants to re-educate officers about the need to exert greater care in employing deadly force when civilians are present in the area.
An ongoing problem is lack of sufficient troops in Afghanistan because Bush diverted attention from the primary object to the chaotic invasion of Iraq. As always, military rather than economic and political solutions form the basis of NATO and American policy.