Petraeus Calls ‘Dilapidated Structures’ Fair Game for Air Strikes

Army Gen. David Petraeus, the newly appointed commander of NATO-forces in Afghanistan, says dilapidated structures are now fair game for air strikes if insurgents are thought to be operating from them. This decision emanates from the overall review of Afghanistan policies and strategies that Petraeus commissioned after he took command in July. The review’s findings still emphasize the need to reduce civilian casualties, but offer additional clarification of what are considered “residential compounds,” the Wall Street Journal reported (please note: full access may require subscription). Troops should try to refrain from striking a building with four walls and a roof because civilians could live inside; however, a building with three walls and no roof could be targeted, according to the newspaper. Petraeus said during his nomination hearing in June he would examine the policies on the use of force to ensure that there was consistent application and no confusion among the ranks.