Afghan night-raids remain a sticking point

The Afghan government has been talking about ending the American military’s controversial campaign of night raids for years, but now they see an opportunity to actually do something about it.

The American military sees night raids as an essential and effective part of its counterinsurgency effort, with a very high reward-to-risk ratio. But Mr. Karzai and much of his government see the raids as politically disastrous, as they enrage the populace and often set entire communities against the American military presence.

Over the past year, American commanders have greatly increased the frequency of the raids, with as many as 40 around the country being carried out on some nights, and an average of 10 a night, the military says. Even that is estimated to be twice the rate of 2010. Thousands of Taliban insurgents, hundreds of them midlevel commanders, have been captured or killed in the raids, officials have said.


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