Editorial: Raid needs investigation

A raid that went wrong in Uruzgan, Afghanistan has not been sufficiently remedied by the United States. Not only should the victims’ families be compensated more than $1,000, but the way such raids are conducted and planned should be investigated.U.S. special operations forces killed 19 and captured 27 people on Jan. 23 during an overnight raid on a small religious school. The school was supposedly occupied by Taliban forces. However, reports quickly surfaced from survivors and witnesses of the raid that those killed and captured were actually soldiers fighting for Afghanistan, ironically enough, to disarm the Taliban.

Though raids on terrorist suspects are to be expected during this war, the sheer brutality compounded with the fact it was a mistake are disturbing. Among some potential reasons for the botched raid, TIME magazine suggests that Americans were misled by warlords in the area who sought to eliminate their enemies by tricking American forces into thinking the men at the school were Taliban renegades.

Even if the men were Taliban soldiers, the Americans used far too much force against a group of men who were sleeping when the attack began. The American soldiers burst into the school spraying everyone in sight with bullets, and many of the Afghan men lay dead in their beds having never woken up. Witnesses heard the men begging the Americans to stop, having surrendered, but the firing did not end.

With such evidence and now American acknowledgement of the mistake, the captured men have been released and the dead Afghans’ families compensated with $1,000. This is unacceptable compensation for such a horrible and bloody mistake. Accidents do happen, but they undermine the positive effects that good strategies and raids bring. Instead, the Uruzgan raid exposes poor planning and a nonchalant attitude toward the people of Afghanistan, both of which are shameful and warrant heavy investigation.