A truly dreadful event. These poor people were killed by one of those charged with protecting them. Relations between American forces and the Afghans must be very strained now following other incidents as well. I wonder what kind of justice the families will receive in such a fraught atmosphere?
The news in the UK is concentrating on the politics of the situation( US, UK, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the troop withdrawal timetable, etc.) rather than the suffering of the ordinary people there. This is in sharp contrast to the terrible news from Syria, where the main focus is on the humanitarian suffering of the civilians.
Should US/UK forces be withdrawn now rather than 2014? I don`t see how it would make much difference one way or the other. A better question might be: was the plan to remove the terrorists and build a free, open, and democratic Afghanistan ever a realistic possibility? For my part, the answer would be no, very unlikely to succeed. But the western politicians had to be seen to do something decisive after 9/11, and rushed into Afghanistan without serious consideration of the long term consequences.
The largely western forces have failed to win the ordinary Afghans` hearts and minds(brute power rarely does), and so the whole mission is heading for defeat anyway. I think the US (and the UK) will leave when Obama said. To go any earlier looks very bad; panicked and ignominous; an open admission of failure.
The Afghan government is utterly corrupt and ineffective and the future is very bleak, I fear, for most Afghans. I feel very sorry for them as they have endured so much sacrifice for so little in return.