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I am a tactical air control party specialist currently in upgrade training to become joint terminal attack controller-certified, and I must say that I am, for the first time, scared. I am afraid for my government and what it has become.

Recently, I read about the German officer (JTAC-qualified) who neutralized at least 45 Taliban insurgents while disrupting a possible vehicle-borne bomb (“NATO investigates Afghan airstrike,” article, Sept. 5). I applaud the German higher authorities and the German government for standing behind this battlefield multiplier while the United States launches an investigation.

The controversial aspect of these situations is twofold; civilians on the battlefield and the United States’ “new” policies on fighting wars. Someone once told me, “The consequences of your actions are directly proportionate to the stupidity of your actions.” Like it or not, those “civilians” knew they were stealing fuel from hijacked NATO fuel trucks. Whether the Taliban told them to take the fuel so they could get the heavy trucks out of the mud is irrelevant, because the motive and opportunity were clearly there to inflict significant damage on coalition forces. The German commanders knew this and neutralized the threat. Even some Afghanistan officials stand behind the attack. Ahmadullah Wardak, a provincial council chief, said: “If we did three more operations like we did yesterday morning, the Kunduz situation would be peaceful and stable.”

War is hell. People die. Not everybody wins in war. Continuing to fight with our soldiers’ hands tied behind their backs will only lead us to defeat. When we deny our soldiers the tools they need to win, when protecting unruly “civilians” takes precedence over the lives and well-being of our warriors, we have truly lost sight of what is important and we have already lost.

Senior Airman Clark CollinsForward Operating Base Falcon, Iraq


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