World

June 13, 2012

U.S. forces will retain self-defense capability in Afghanistan

by Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

U.S. military leaders will take extra steps to ensure innocent Afghan civilians are not killed or hurt in combat operations, but U.S. forces will retain the means of self-defense, Pentagon officials said June 12.

Following a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S and NATO forces in Afghanistan, issued an order saying there would be no bombing of civilian homes except in cases of self-defense.

There have been a few instances of NATO aircraft bombing targets and causing the deaths of innocent civilians. “The number of events directed against civilian compounds is a very small percentage of events in which air-delivered munitions are used,” Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said. “We do retain the right of self-defense in Afghanistan for force protection reasons. That’s an inherent right, and we will retain that right.”

At their regularly scheduled news conference, Little and Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. John Kirby emphasized that NATO forces and Afghan leaders have agreed to limits on close-air support in the country. Coalition officials take seriously the prospect of civilian casualties, they said, and try to limit those to the extent possible.

“Our track record in Afghanistan is very good on this point,” Little said.

“Let me make it clear, that when it comes to civilian casualties in Afghanistan, we care about trying to avoid them,” he added. “Our enemies don’t.”

The Taliban and their terrorist allies intentionally inflict harm upon the civilian populations inside Afghanistan, Little said.

“They are responsible for the large majority of civilian casualties that occur in that country,” he said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Ukrainian officers join NATO drills in Bulgaria

NOVO SELO, Bulgaria – Lt. Col. Valeria Parada had a challenge. She and her team were responsible for rescuing people caught up in a dangerous situation around the Black Sea and making sure they received whatever humanitarian assistance they needed. To do that, she first had to learn how to coordinate among the air, navy...
 
 

Republic of Korea Selects Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II

The Republic of Korea has formally selected the Lockheed Martin ) F-35 Lightning II aircraft for its F-X fighter acquisition program.  “We are honored by and appreciate the trust and confidence the Republic of Korea has placed in the 5th Generation F-35 to meet its demanding security requirements. We look forward to supporting the discussions between...
 
 

U.S. will beef up air operations in Poland

More U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons will deploy to Poland in the coming days and weeks, a Pentagon official said March 10. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak spoke yesterday, and Siemoiniak thanked the secretary for looking at options for basing, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman. “No decision [have been...
 

 

Six F-15s, KC-135 to augment NATO mission in Baltics

Following Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s announcement March 5 during Senate testimony that the United States is augmenting its participation in NATO’s air policing mission in the Baltics and will increase joint training through its aviation detachment in Poland, a defense official provided additional information. In a statement provided on background, the official said the United...
 
 

Three U.S. military aircraft hit in S. Sudan, 4 wounded

Gunfire hit three U.S. military aircraft trying to evacuate American citizens in a remote region of South Sudan that Dec. 21 became a battle ground between the country’s military and renegade troops, officials said. Four U.S. service members were wounded in the attack in the same region where gunfire downed a U.N. helicopter the day...
 
 

U.S. looks to Asia nations to build their militaries

Lawmakers voiced bipartisan support Oct. 29 for the Obama administration’s strategic pivot to Asia but stressed the need for partner nations to strengthen their military capabilities and contribute more to their own defense. Members of the House Armed Services Committee plan to step up scrutiny of U.S. military policy in the fast-growing region, where despite...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>