U.S. military levels entire Afghan village

Experts debate whether the destruction of Tarok Kolache was justified

The decision to pulverize an entire village by Lt. Col. David Flynn, commander of Combined Joint Task Force 1-320th, has ignited a debate over the U.S. military’s counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan. The village in question, Tarok Kolache, was overrun with Taliban insurgents, who had apparently chased villagers out and were using the site for staging attacks. After two failed attempts at clearing the village and multiple U.S. and Afghan casualties, Flynn decided to use bombs and rockets to wipe it out. While the attack apparently resulted in no civilian casualties, an adviser to Hamid Karzai said that it “caused unreasonable damage to homes and orchards and displaced a number of people.” Flynn’s decision has raised some questions about the potential for backlash, and some observers argue that the bombing will hamper the military’s effort to win the loyalty of local, civilian Afghans, whose cooperation is paramount in rooting out insurgents.

Danger Room (Wired)

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