Un­cal­cu­lated Er­rors

Southasia - - Briefing -

The re­cent ac­ci­den­tal burn­ing of copies of the Holy Qu­ran by U.S sol­diers at the Ba­gram Air Base in Kabul has trig­gered mass protests through­out the coun­try. While U.S pres­i­dent Barack Obama has of­fered a for­mal apol­ogy, Afghan min­is­ters can­celled a planned visit to the U.S and sys­tem­atic vi­o­lence has erupted in the coun­try, killing close to 37 U.S sol­diers, four from within the Afghan gov­ern­ment min­istry, prompt­ing the U.S to with­draw ad­vi­sors and train­ers and in­crease pres­ence in Kabul.

The act has prompted three par­al­lel in­quiries; one con­ducted solely by Afghans, one con­ducted by the Amer­i­cans and the third, a joint Afghan-amer­i­can in­quiry into the in­ci­dent. The in­quiries will con­sist of in­ter­views and in­ves­ti­ga­tions of sol­diers throw­ing Qu­rans and other Mus­lim re­li­gious texts into a burn pit at the mil­i­tary base. How­ever, only the for­mal U.S mil­i­tary in­ves­ti­ga­tion can call for a le­gal ac­tion lead­ing to ei­ther a court mar­tial or an ad­min­is­tra­tive pun­ish­ment. Pres­i­dent Obama’s apol­ogy to Pres­i­dent Karzai has cer­tainly calmed ten­sions but many Afghans are wait­ing for the re­sults from the in­quiries to be re­leased. It is ex­pected that the rec­om­men­da­tions from the re­ports will for­mu­late a re­vised, and per­haps a more sen­si­tive, U.S mil­i­tary strat­egy of en­gage­ment with the Afghan peo­ple.

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