French troops on patrol in Kabul (file photo) (AFP)
July 6, 2007 -- The top French commander in Afghanistan says NATO could rout the Taliban but has held off using full force in order to spare civilians.
General Pierre-Richard Kohn said if NATO applied "blind force," it would "defeat the Taliban quickly."
But he said the alliance, under criticism for civilians recently killed in its anti-Taliban operations, is not using cluster bombs or weapons that endanger civilians. Kohn accused Taliban insurgents of "barbaric methods," including using civilians as human shields.