Compensation for Civilian Victims in a War?

After having ordered the bombardment of a kidnapped tank truck in Afghanistan, Germany is about to pay compensation to the families of the civilian victims.

Does this make sense?

Well, first of all, you’d have to ask whether it makes sense to engage in a war on behalf of another country. Shouldn’t we have learned that you cannot introduce democracy or peace into a country by sending troops after having done this to so many countries since Vietnam?

OK, so we assume we had to engage. Next question is: were those civilian casualties avoidable? This is a question we probably cannot answer at all, but imagine the bombs had not been launched: the tank would have been used by the Taliban to launch an assault on Afghans.

Finally, let’s assume the bombardment was a mistake: to whom is Germany going to pay the compensation? Can they prove that the victims helped the Taliban to free the stuck truck against their will? How many of them were willing supporters?

War is never good. Bad and cruel things happen in all wars. Compensation is just laughable!

In the end it seems, that countries might be better off if they didn’t try to prevent terrorist attacks but just let them happen. This way they cannot be blamed for the civilian deaths.

Of course, they would be much better off, if they thought about precedents before engaging in a war on behalf of others in the first place.

An interesting side-note: the term “war” is not officially used in Germany for their “engagement” in Afghanistan.

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