The U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has put limits on nighttime raids, airstrikes and artillery as part of his counterinsurgency strategy to kill fewer innocents in the crossfire with the Taliban and to win the hearts and minds of Afghan civilians. Some journalists on the ground with lower-ranking U.S. troops engaged in the offensive in Marja, in Afghanistan's Helmand province, have reported that foot soldiers think they're fighting with one hand tied behind their back. Senior officers say it is necessary to the strategy.
When is it worth putting Americans at greater risk to reduce the danger to foreign civilians? Is this really the way to defeat a hardened enemy that has no such scruples? Where do we draw this line?