FNs leder i Afghanistan, Kai Eide, kritiserer de amerikanske spesialstyrkenes operasjoner i Afghanistan og sier de krever for mange sivile ofre. Han vil heller ha en afghanisering av operasjonene.
Eide sa dette i et videomøte med NATOs forsvarsministre fredag. Robert Gates var til stede. Opptaket ble kjent lørdag.
Men hva mener Eide med afghanisering? Afghanerne er heller ikke kjent for å gå spesielt varsomt frem. Mener han at afghanerne vil reagere annerledes når de får det fra sine egne? Er det hensynet til ISAFs renommé som plager Eide? Eller kan det ha noe med ønske om å innynde seg og skape goodwill hos afghanerne og visse land i FN-systemet?
In unusually firm remarks, the chief of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan said there was an «urgent need to review» the Special Operations forces here.
The official, Kai Eide, called the political costs of civilian casualties from special operations raids «disproportionate to the military gains,» and said the Special Operations forces needed to become «more Afghanized.»
His comments, made in a video conference call from Kabul with NATO ministers in Brussels on Friday and released on Saturday, were the latest sign of just how worried some United Nations and military officials are that the fallout from civilian casualties is jeopardizing the American-led mission in Afghanistan.
Special Operations forces, which conduct raids against high-level insurgent targets, have been criticized for relying heavily on airstrikes when they come under fire from militants during raids and house searches in villages.
An aide to Mr. Eide said that his call to have the forces «Afghanized» meant having Afghans conduct the raids.
«We must all make sure that the training of military personnel is such that they are fully aware of Afghan sensitivities,» said Mr. Eide, a Norwegian diplomat. «We cannot eliminate civilian casualties, but we cannot afford mistakes that lead to the loss of civilian lives, the alienation of the population, and media headlines month after month that overshadow all the positive trends.»
The use of airstrikes by American Special Operations forces has resulted in two high-profile cases of civilian casualties that bookend Mr. Eide’s 15-month tenure in Kabul, the capital.
Last August, airstrikes in Azizabad, in western Afghanistan, killed more than 90 civilians, the majority of them women and children, according to the Afghan government, human rights groups, intelligence officials and a United Nations investigation. The United States military said 30 civilians had died.
In May, American airstrikes in Farah Province killed dozens of Afghan civilians, the result of significant errors by American forces, according to an American military investigation.