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General: Blame Taliban, Media for Afghan Civilian Deaths - Noah Shachtman, Danger Room.
Top commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal has issued strict new guidelines on air strikes, to keep civilians from getting killed. "It is literally how we lose the war or in many ways how we win it," he recently said.
But many in the Air Force see the civilian casualty problem may be more a product of media hype and Taliban human shielding than of errant U.S. bombs. "It is curious that it appears there is more ink spent on casualties from air attacks than there is on the criminality and violation of the ethical tenets of Islam that occurs daily as a result of Taliban actions," writes Lieutenant General David Deptula, the Air Force's Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.
Deptula e-mailed me last night, in response to my story on the American air war. Here's what he wrote...
LtGen Deptula's response at Danger Room.