NATO ‘Accepts’ Karzai Air Strike Order

Gen. Dunford Claims 'Extraordinary Progress' in Not Killing Civilians

by Jason Ditz, February 17, 2013

NATO officials say today that they are “accepting” Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s edict to Afghan security forces not to call NATO requesting air strikes when they are operating in residential areas.

This was only one of two edicts made by Karzai regarding last week’s US strike, which killed 10 civilians. The initial edict was a full ban on air strikes in residential areas, and it doesn’t appear that one was accepted.

Instead, officials say they will work with Afghan ground forces on the logistics of finding ways to help those troops that doesn’t involve random air strikes into neighborhood full of civilians. That doesn’t mean NATO troops can’t call in such strikes, however.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, the new NATO commander, says that his willingness to work with Afghan forces proves the “extraordinary progress” that has been made in limiting the number of civilians killed in air strikes.

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