Monday, March 27, 2023

Pentagon review finds no misconduct in false Afghan airstrike

An independent Pentagon review has concluded that the US drone strikes that killed innocent Kabul civilians and children in the final days of the Afghanistan war were not due to misconduct or negligence, and it does not recommend any disciplinary action, the Associated Press learned. Is.

According to a senior defense official familiar with the report, a review conducted by Air Force Lieutenant General Sami Said found that communications and the process of identifying and confirming bombing targets were flawed. Sayeed concluded the wrongful strike happened, however, despite judicious measures to prevent civilian deaths, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a report that had not yet been released.

As Inspector General of the Air Force, Saeed had no direct connection with Afghanistan’s operations and was thus considered an independent judge of the case.

Saeed’s review stated that the drone strike should be considered in the context of this time, as US forces were flooding under tension from information about threats to soldiers and civilians at Kabul airport, a deadly suicide. Just a few days after the bombings. Thousands of Afghans stormed the airport trying to exit the country after the Taliban takeover.

According to the official, Said found that better communication between strike decision-makers and other support personnel would have raised more suspicions about the bombing, but in the end it could not be stopped.

family hit

Saeed was asked to investigate a drone attack on a white Toyota Corolla sedan on August 29 that killed nine family members, including Zamerai Ahmadi and seven children. Ahmadi, 37, was a longtime employee of an American humanitarian organization.

Intelligence about the car and its potential threat came just days after an Islamic State suicide bomber killed 13 US soldiers and 169 Afghans at the gate of Kabul airport. The US was working to evacuate thousands of Americans, Afghans and other allies in the wake of the collapse of the country’s government.

Said concluded that the US military actually believed that the car they were following was an imminent threat and that they needed to attack it before it got close to the airport.

The report, which has been endorsed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, made several recommendations to the commanders of the US Central Command and US Special Operations Command.

The official said the review recommended that more should be done to prevent “confirmation bias” to military officers — the idea that soldiers deciding to strike were too early to conclude what they were seeing. He was aligned with intelligence and confirmed their conclusion to build the bomb. Wrong car.

The review recommends that the military have personnel with a strike team whose job it is to actively question such findings. The report said that using so-called “red-team” in such self-defense attacks could help avoid errors.

Said also recommended that the military improve its procedures to ensure that children and other innocent civilians are not present before launching a time-sensitive strike.

Until a few days after the strike, Pentagon officials claimed it was organized correctly, despite mounting reports that several civilians and children had been killed and growing suspicions that the car contained explosives. Saeed’s review concluded that officials made their initial assessment too early and did not conduct adequate analysis.

administrative action possible

Although Said’s report does not recommend individual blame or discipline, officials said the commanders may decide to take administrative action after reviewing their report.

The US is working to pay financial compensation to the family and potentially get them out of Afghanistan, but nothing has been finalized.

A second defense official said Austin has asked General Frank McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, and General Richard Clarke, chief of US Special Operations Command, to come back to him with recommendations for changes to bridge the gap.

Said’s review reflects several of the findings outlined by McKenzie several weeks after the investigation.

A Central Command review found that US forces tracked the car for approximately eight hours and launched a strike in “grave confidence” based on a standard of “reasonable certainty” – that it was a threat to US troops at Kabul airport. There was imminent danger. It is believed that explosives were kept in the trunk of the car.

The airstrike was the last in the US war, ending just days later, as the last US troops took off from Kabul airport, bringing the Taliban to power.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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