On Oct. 19, NATO troops on patrol in Afghanistan’s Helmand province fired a warning shot to stop a civilian vehicle that had come too close to the soldiers’ convoy. The round ricocheted, killing a two-year-old girl outside her home, according to Agence France-Presse. It’s an old problem in Iraq and Afghanistan, where occupying troops find themselves targeted by suicide bombers in chaotic urban environments where it’s impossible to tell the good guys from the bad. Most soldiers have no peaceful way of communicating with civilian drivers other than with vague hand gestures — and few means short of a rifle […]

In meetings with Secretary Rice in Turkey over the weekend and with President Bush Monday, Turkish leaders sought a promise of U.S. action against the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), an agreement on joint action or, failing these, a green light from the United States for Turkish direct action in northern Iraq. Turkish officials have known since the onset of this crisis that a large-scale overt operation in northern Iraq would be unpalatable to the United States because of the delicate internal politics of Iraq and the U.S.-Kurdish alliance. That alliance has kept the north of the country relatively stable despite […]