News came out today that a U.S sergeant “methodically” killed sixteen civilians (9 children) in Southern Afghanistan yesterday. All of the citizens were thought to be most likely innocent. 

Naturally, this only will add to the tension between the Afghans and the Western soldiers. After the riots over the accidental burning of Korans a few weeks ago, there is no doubt that the country will now be up in arms once the news of this action gets out. No amount of high quality PR or explanation will soothe the Afghan people. When a country intervenes in a land that is foreign in every way, tension is bound to mount. Their customs, food, technology, religion, geography, values, and history are all uncommon to that of the United States. There is little to no way for them to relate with Western soldiers and because of this they will find little reason to trust them. This begs a few questions.

Is it time to leave Afghanistan? Is it possible to gain the trust of the Afghan people? Is there another strategy that the U.S government or military should take in regards to Afghanistan?