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Angry protests after five Afghan soldiers die in NATO airstrike

(AP Photo/Mustafa Najafizada)

Multiple news sources are reporting that a NATO airstrike in Afghanistan has left five Afghan soldiers dead and two wounded, sparking more angry protests among the Afghan people and drawing condemnation from an Afghan general. The incident is under investigation.

In condemning the deaths, Afghan General Zahir Azimi grimly noted, “this is not the first time this has happened.” In fact, Reuters identified “friendly fire” incidents as the leading cause of strained relations between Afghanistan and the Western troops deployed there, with the Wall Street Journal describing emotions in Afghanistan as “raw.”

As Western and Afghan military leaders are challenged to prevent any further friendly fire incidents, Afghan civilians continue to be targeted by the Taliban. In the past week, according to a Canadian journalist

An elder was murdered for planning to attend a meeting with ISAF forces; two bombs planted at a school construction site killed two builders; and seven Afghan security guards were kidnapped and executed by insurgents in Ghazni.

The tense situation is further complicated by dwindling optimism among the American people regarding the long-term outcome of the war. According to a new poll released Tuesday, only one out of five Americans thinks the situation in Afghanistan will improve by the end of the year, and less than 40% of respondents believe the allies are winning the war on terror.

In short, the Afghan citizens and the troops fighting for freedom are all facing terribly difficult and frustrating circumstances as the war against terror continues. On October 7, 2010, the war in Afghanistan will have lasted nine years.

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