Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 31st, 2020

Night Raid Strategy: Needs a Rethinking

The number of night raids in Afghanistan by coalition and US Special Forces reaches thousands every year. The military officials deem it a very effective tactic to kill or capture terrorists. But President Hamid Karzi thinks the other way. Karzai not only denies the presence of militants in the districts of Afghanistan but also pronounces the night raids by NATO as ineffective.

He has urged the US, time and again, to stop such operations and go after militants on the other side of the Afghan border. Nonetheless, the raids against the insurgents continue day and night.

Although 31 soldiers belonging to US Special Forces along with 6 Afghan commandos and an interpreter were killed during a night operation in Maidan Wardak province a month ago, night raids have not stopped.

But now the US should really ponder over whether its night raids that were intensified during ex NATO commander, General David Patreaus's term, are effective in counterinsurgency war or not.

US-based institution, The Open Society Foundations said in a report published Monday that NATO-led night operations are making the military alliance unpopular in Afghanistan and that 'security is at its worst level' since the ousting of Taliban regime in 2001.

"Mass detention operations, holding the entire village for questioning on site for prolonged period of time may violate international prohibitions against indiscriminate detention," it said.

Unaccustomed to Afghan customs, the coalition forces have made several mistakes in the last ten years that have resulted in the deaths of civilians. According to Afghan public, search of houses during military operations by foreign troops is against the culture of Afghanistan.

Therefore they demand that search activities should be performed by Afghan National Army (ANA). ANA is well aware of how to treat families and keep the respect for women.

While the UN has blamed NATO and US forces for causing increasing civilian deaths due with airstrikes and night raids.

Civilian deaths from airstrikes increased 14 per cent during the first six months of the year, a UN report said in July. Civilian deaths from ground combat also increased by 36 per cent. The night raid strategy needs a rethinking.