An Upside Down Request

According to today’s Washington Times, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has asked NATO to do more to protect civilians as their troops take Marjah from the Taliban.  I understand the need to protect innocent people, but how do you do that when the Taliban is using the residents of the area as human shields? 

According to the article:

“Once the town is secure, NATO plans to rush in a civilian Afghan administration, restore public services and pour in aid to try to win the loyalty of the population and prevent the Taliban from returning.

“As the assault entered its second week, Marines and Afghan soldiers faced hours of sporadic but intense gunfights from insurgent snipers — often firing from compounds where families could be seen taking shelter. Troops crouched for cover in muddy ditches, firing rifles, machine guns, and grenades as Taliban bullets whizzed by.”

Again, I understand the need to protect innocent civilians, but not at the expense of losing NATO soldiers or the expense of losing the war.  What we need are some really good snipers.  If the Taliban soldiers know that they will be safe as long as they hide with civilians, I am not sure victory is possible.

The problem is not our disregard for civilians, it is the Taliban’s use of civilians as human shields.