For anyone wondering what an Afghan’s life is worth, here’s mention of the going rate in terms of airstrike authorizations:
The law is certainly vague, and military commanders are left an awful lot of leeway. But consider how it works in Afghanistan. In a grisly calculus known as the “collateral damage estimate,” U.S. military commanders and lawyers often work together in advance of a military strike, using very specific, Pentagon-imposed protocols to determine whether the good that will come of it outweighs the cost.
We don’t know much about how it works, but in 2007, Marc Garlasco, the Pentagon’s former chief of high-value targeting, offered a glimpse when he told Salon magazine that in 2003, “the magic number was 30.” That meant that if an attack was anticipated to kill more than 30 civilians, it needed the explicit approval of then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld or President George W. Bush. If the expected civilian death toll was less than 30, the strike could be OKd by the legal and military commanders on the ground.
Well, isn’t it great that we’re burning through trillions of dollars to “liberate” the Afghan people – keeping them safe from various malefactors? Also, dead – within acceptable ratios of course.
As for the morality of the situation, I believe it goes something like this:
1. A terrorist deliberately targeting civilians is pure evil – regardless of how many civilians are killed.
2. The US dropping a bomb on an Afghan village that will result in up to 30 innocent civilian deaths is an act of pure moral goodness.
3. If more than 30 will die, then it requires Bush or Rumsfeld’s signature for the act to be redeemed.
They hate us for our freedom.