Saturday, March 29

The problem with firing missiles into Somalia

In the L.A. Times, Human Rights Watch's Jennifer Daskal and Leslie Lefkow criticize the U.S. policy of launching missile strikes at terrorist targets in Somalia, the most recent attack coming earlier this month:
But at what cost? Whether the missiles were aimed at Nabhan or Turki, they hit civilians instead. This pattern echoes U.S. strikes in Somalia in January 2007 that killed and injured an unknown number of civilians as the stated target scampered off unharmed. Even if the attacks could be legally justified under the laws of war -- which is by no means clear -- the high-profile civilian casualties inevitably turn ordinary Somalis against the United States, thereby bolstering support for militant groups. Meanwhile, the human rights and humanitarian crisis that terrorists feed off -- and that U.S. policies exacerbate -- is largely ignored.

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