Airstrike Rules Broken, Pentagon Finds
Posted on Jun 3, 2009
U.S. forces in Afghanistan have developed a reputation for bombing first and asking questions later. According to The New York Times, an internal Pentagon investigation confirms that the rules of engagement were not followed properly during airstrikes on May 4, resulting in the deaths of 20 to140 civilians (depending on whether you take the U.S. or Afghan estimate).
New York Times:
A military investigation has concluded that American personnel made significant errors in carrying out some of the airstrikes in western Afghanistan on May 4 that killed dozens of Afghan civilians, according to a senior American military official.
The official said the civilian death toll would probably have been reduced if American air crews and forces on the ground had followed strict rules devised to prevent civilian casualties. Had the rules been followed, at least some of the strikes by American warplanes against half a dozen targets over seven hours would have been aborted.
USMC / Lance Cpl. Chad J. Pulliam
Bombs from a U.S. Air Force B-1 Lancer aircraft drop outside Forward Operating Base Now Zad, Afghanistan.