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Study Faults US Military on Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan

Study Faults US Military on Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan
folder_openAfghanistan access_time3 months ago
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By Staff, Agencies

A study revealed that the US military has "considerable weaknesses" and inconsistencies in its review of allegations of civilian casualties.

The US military has come under intense scrutiny over its procedures to guard against civilian casualties after a high-profile, mistaken drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, that claimed the lives of 10 civilians, including seven children on August 29.

The US military botched the targeting, and what’s more, in the strike's initial aftermath, the Pentagon's assessment claimed that it killed Daesh [Arabic for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] terrorists preparing a bombing attack against American troops.

The latest study by the RAND Corporation think-tank concluded that systemic weaknesses at the War Department were resulting in it falling short of its duties on civilian casualties.

The RAND study, which was required by congressional legislation, found that the problem is compounded by the US military when it fails to adequately talk to people from outside the US government or armed forces who might have access to information on the ground.

However, a 2018 Joint Staff review found that 58% of civilian casualties identified between 2015 and 2017 came from external sources, RAND said.

The report also noted that junior personnel "who do not receive formal training" often investigate civilian casualties.

After the study was released, War Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a memorandum calling for the creation of a plan on civilian harm "mitigation and response" in the months to come as well as the creation of civilian protection center of excellence later this year.