19 June 2016, Common Dreams (website)
AAN’s Kate Clark is extensively quoted in this article on US drones by the Bureau for Investigative Journalism.
Kate Clark of the Afghan Analyst Network, a highly respected think tank said the rise in the proportion of airstrikes against the insurgency was a pragmatic response to a deteriorating situation. The contradiction between the reality and the political position in Washington that combat operations are over was “the result of having a conflict between military needs and political imperatives, having to say one thing and do another,” she added.
“From their mandate you would assume foreign forces would not be putting themselves in harm’s way as part of normal daily routine,” Clark told the Bureau. “But clearly last year as the conflict got worse and the Taliban got stronger and the weakness of government forces became apparent, there was an obvious need for American support.”
That support comes from intelligence, surveillance and help with logistics, as well as close mentoring by US forces, important for boosting moral of the Afghans they work with. However “airstrikes have been crucial,” Clark explained. “As soon as you have that threat from the sky, the Taliban’s fighting ability is reduced.”
This article was last updated on 9 Mar 2020