Originally Posted by Jubelum
Getting your children killed in the crossfire for payment has been done in Afghanistan because we write the checks.
$2000 goes a long way, and the children are martyrs.
Still, we do more than any modern army in the world to prevent civilian casualties.
I very much doubt that.
For a very close example, the Brits invested much more in developing Arabic skills for the troops than that US did, in order to be less reliant on interpreters and to be able to build trust with the locals. This has the primary effect of cutting down communication error and the easily avoidable conflict that results from it, but also affects the mindset on both sides. People don't generally grow to care very much about people they can't communicate with.
Many of the armies that would hold low civilian casualties as a higher priority than the US does do not get sent to war that often.
If you want to fight a war in the midst of a civilian populace while saving that populace, that means practically no air strikes or indirect fire. You have to go in and handle business manually. That means taking some casualties - it's unavoidable in close combat even if you have superior training, equipment and control. When you look at the causes of death of US personnel, it's IED, accident, IED, IED, accident, etc. It's very obvious that when US commanders expect a real fight instead of random house-clearing, they err on the side of leveling the place to take minimal casualties. Nothing wrong with that as such, it's a valid strategy, but that isn't how you protect civilians. You can't both have your cake and eat it.