Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The U.S. Special Operations commander who directed the operation that killed Osama bin Laden is defending night raids on homes in Afghanistan.
Adm. William McRaven says the unpopular raids "are very valuable when you are trying to get someone who is trying to hide."
He says about 2,800 raids have been carried out against insurgent targets in the past year, and in 85 percent of them, the forces involved never fired a shot.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called for an end to the raids, saying they violate privacy and treat too many civilians as if they were insurgents. He says Afghan citizens can't feel secure if they think armed troops might burst into their homes in the middle of the night.
In a rare interview with journalists in Afghanistan, McRaven said the U.S. understands Afghan concerns about night raids and has allowed Afghan forces to take the lead in those operations.
He also defended a training program his troops run for village police forces. Some fear the initiative could spawn militias and new violence.
(Copyright 2011, The Associated Press)