Pentagon Angry at UN Over Report on Afghan Child Deaths in Air Strikes

Insists Taliban Killed More Civilians

by Jason Ditz, February 08, 2013

US military spokesmen in Afghanistan are expressing anger at the latest UN report on civilian casualties for noting that the US has killed “hundreds of children” over the past decade and for attributing those deaths to “lack of precautionary measures and indiscriminate use of force.”

Though the figures do not appear to be in serious dispute the military takes exception to the explanation, insisting that it is “entirely false” to say that the US doesn’t take precautionary measures to avoid killing children. US officials reported “only” 45 children killed in 2012, a marked drop from past years.

The statements went on to claim that the Taliban caused “about 90 percent of the civilian casualties” last year, and that roadside bombs are much more indiscriminate than US air strikes.

Though the Taliban indeed kills more civilians than the US, the 90 percent figure often cited in US reports is hotly disputed, and rests on assumptions that a lot of apparent civilians are “suspects” as well as the notion that civilians blown up in US attacks on suspected Taliban positions are really the Taliban’s fault.

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