Afghan Army Preps for Its Own Night Raids

'Don't Give Them a Chance to Raise Their Heads'

Reuters reports that Afghanistan’s army is preparing “elite soldiers” to adopt one of the most unpopular tactics of the US occupation forces: the night raid. The troops are training to launch the same nighttime searches of homes, in which many civilians were killed.

“Be ready to attack! You attack the enemy and don’t give them a chance to raise their heads to fight you,” the commander shouts over the sound of automatic gunfire. This appears to be materially the same strategy as the US forces, which has led to massive civilian tolls as raiding forces shoot first and ask questions later — if ever.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly demanded that the US halt all night raids, saying that Afghan civilians no longer felt secure in their homes. The creation of new Afghan raiders was being presented as a “compromise” for continuing the raids beyond 2014 while allowing US troops to stay.

But the US has insisted it will continue its own night raids, with the Karzai government’s own added to the mix. Afghanistan’s civilians have little reason to celebrate this hat-tip to “sovereignty.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of