After months of denial, NATO admitted Sunday to five civilian casualties in a February raid – a major setback in the Afghanistan war effort to 'win hearts and minds.'
Arghandab Valley, Afghanistan
NATO forces in Afghanistan are facing new pressure on the “hearts and minds” front after they admitted Sunday to killing five civilians in a February assault and as Afghan President Hamid Karzai appeared to publicly undermine Western efforts here.
Currently on a visit with top US commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal to Kandahar, where NATO is planning a major summer offensive against the Taliban, Mr. Karzai promised local leaders on Sunday that “there won’t be an operation unless you are happy about it.”
On Monday, he canceled a planned trip to a frontline NATO base nearby – a move that would hurt morale among local government workers and residents, US officials said.