(NBC) A Pentagon investigation finds the U.S. air attack on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan last October resulted from a deadly collection of human and technical errors. The investigation concluded that it was a tragedy that could have been prevented, but ultimately, not a war crime.
“They were attempting to do the right thing. Unfortunately, they, they made a wrong judgment in this particular case.” stated General Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command
From ground troops to an air gunship, mistakes and malfunctions turned an intended attack on a Taliban command post into the hospital massacre that killed 42 people.
Sixteen American service members received administrative or disciplinary action for their part in the attack.
President Obama apologized to Doctors Without Borders; victims’ families received cash.
“Three thousand dollars for wounded and six thousand dollars for those who were killed.” said General Votel
Doctors Without Borders says that’s not enough.
“Our request for an independent investigation has remained unanswered until today, and we think that’s still needed.” said Meinie Nicolai, President of Doctors Without Borders.
Will the military learn from this disaster? Retired U.S. Army Colonel Jack Jacobs says he hopes so.
“We all hope that this is the last incident like this we will ever see but as long as we rely on purely technological means to combat the enemy, the likelihood of this happening again is always there.” says Colonel Jacobs
A grim lesson learned, emerging from the fog of war.
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