25 Tons of Bombs Wipe Afghan Town Off Map (Photos)

Tarok KolacheSpencer Ackerman writes on the intriguing WIRED’s Danger Room:

An American-led military unit pulverized an Afghan village in Kandahar’s Arghandab River Valley in October, after it became overrun with Taliban insurgents. It’s hard to understand how turning an entire village into dust fits into America’s counterinsurgency strategy — which supposedly prizes the local people’s loyalty above all else.

But it’s the latest indication that Gen. David Petraeus, the counterinsurgency icon, is prosecuting a frustrating war with surprising levels of violence. Some observers already fear a backlash brewing in the area.

Paula Broadwell, a West Point graduate and Petraeus biographer, described the destruction of Tarok Kolache in a guest post for Tom Ricks’ Foreign Policy blog. Or, at least, she described its aftermath: Nothing remains of Tarok Kolache after Lt. Col. David Flynn, commander of Combined Joint Task Force 1-320th, made a fateful decision in October.

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  • Grooveboss

    at least they took back the territory too, usually they just kill certain people and leave the territory without any monitoring. If they issued awards for destroying less infrastructural targets while still hitting known human targets things would be a little bit different. Its still war but less expensive.

  • Grooveboss

    at least they took back the territory too, usually they just kill certain people and leave the territory without any monitoring. If they issued awards for destroying less infrastructural targets while still hitting known human targets things would be a little bit different. Its still war but less expensive.

  • mrtastycakes

    This is not COIN. COIN may just be an unproven fad (some say–not me), but trying to do both COIN and broadsword, traditional military operations is a guaranteed disaster.

  • mrtastycakes

    This is not COIN. COIN may just be an unproven fad (some say–not me), but trying to do both COIN and broadsword, traditional military operations is a guaranteed disaster.

  • Anonymous

    “Sure they are pissed about the loss of their mud huts,” Broadwell wrote on Facebook, “but that is why the BUILD story is important here.”

    This line tells you everything you need to know about the story. So does the line calling a man’s distress over the loss of all his possessions and everything that had ever belonged to his family, “a fit of theatrics.” Can you describe the villagers in any way that makes them less people? That’s more condescending? These aren’t a few blocks you knocked over in a playground. It’s everything that has ever belonged to these people and their ancestors, for generations. Gee, and I wonder why the locals don’t like us?

  • quartz99

    “Sure they are pissed about the loss of their mud huts,” Broadwell wrote on Facebook, “but that is why the BUILD story is important here.”

    This line tells you everything you need to know about the story. So does the line calling a man’s distress over the loss of all his possessions and everything that had ever belonged to his family, “a fit of theatrics.” Can you describe the villagers in any way that makes them less people? That’s more condescending? These aren’t a few blocks you knocked over in a playground. It’s everything that has ever belonged to these people and their ancestors, for generations. Gee, and I wonder why the locals don’t like us?

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