Collateral Afghan fallout

Mark Thomas mocks the lack of accuracy of US targeting (5 November). It is undeniable that some mistakes were made, but the reality is that, out of any war designed to defeat the armed forces and overthrow the government of a country, the war against the Taliban has involved the most accurate targeting and the fewest civilian casualties in history. Compare this with the Soviet war in Afghanistan, or the Russian campaign in Chechnya, or any other war including and since the Second World War.

Mark Thomas speaks of the "murder" of civilians in Afghanistan by the United States. For those who accept that war is sometimes necessary to resist evil, civilian casualties, while they should be avoided and are regrettable if they occur, are not murder. Would Mark Thomas speak of all the German civilians "murdered" by the British during the Second World War?

Nicholas Tucker

This article first appeared in the 19 November 2001 issue of the New Statesman, And now the trouble really begins