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The Cost of Kill/Capture: Impact of the Night Raid Surge on Afghan Civilians

  • Date
  • September 2011

This report from the Open Society Foundations examines how the recent, dramatic increase in night raids by international forces has affected Afghan civilians and fueled even deeper hostility towards such operations. Broader targeting strategies have put more civilians in harm’s way, as have mass, indiscriminate detentions of civilians, leaving Afghans feeling increasingly caught between the two sides of the conflict. Civilian casualties, detentions, cultural offense, property destruction, and lack of accountability continue to provoke popular and political blowback that risks seriously undermining relations with the Afghan government as well as the international community's long-term security and political goals.

The Cost of Kill/Capture: Impact of the Night Raid Surge on Afghan Civilians recommends that international forces: 1) cease targeting noncombatants and the indiscriminate detention of civilians; 2) employ alternative detention methods and law enforcement tactics, particularly whenever detaining non-combatants; and 3) implement reforms to improve transparency and accountability over night raids operations.

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