U.S. military admits ‘horrible mistake’ in Kabul drone strike that killed 10 Afghans (WaPo)

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    • #445954
      Babel 17
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      • Total Posts: 5,794

      WaPo reporting the story, so it’s officially a “Whoops!” from the MIC.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2021/09/17/drone-strike-kabul-afghanistan/

      U.S. military admits ‘horrible mistake’ in Kabul drone strike that killed 10 Afghans

      A U.S. drone strike in Kabul that killed 10 civilians, including seven children, was conducted after numerous miscalculations by commanders who wrongly believed an aid worker was hauling explosives in his car, defense officials acknowledged Friday, reversing the Pentagon’s earlier adamance that the operation prevented an imminent suicide attack on U.S. forces.

      The Defense Department had previously defended the Aug. 29 operation as a “righteous strike,” saying it tracked a white sedan for hours after the vehicle left a suspected Islamic State-Khorasan safe house. In fact, the driver, Zamarai Ahmadi, was a longtime aid worker for a U.S.-based group and was hauling water cans for his family, officials acknowledged.

      “We now know that there was no connection between Mr. Ahmadi and ISIS-Khorasan, that his activities on that day were completely harmless and not at all related to the imminent threat we believed we faced, and that Mr. Ahmadi was just as innocent a victim as were the others tragically killed,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement announcing the military’s conclusions. “We apologize, and we will endeavor to learn from this horrible mistake.”

      The chain of missteps ending with the missile strike came days after a suicide attack at the Kabul airport claimed the lives of at least 170 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops, inviting a sense of urgency that may have been misplaced. It also highlights flaws in the Biden administration’s strategy for targeting threats that emerge in Afghanistan from long distance, a plan analysts have criticized as being vulnerable to inadequate intelligence and overconfidence among commanders reading ordinary behaviors as evidence of malicious intent.

       

    • #445958
      HassleCat
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      • Total Posts: 8,339

      We admitted it was a mistake. That makes it sound like all the other drone strikes were not mistakes.

      • #445963
        Babel 17
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        • Total Posts: 5,794

        So naturally we had to drone some of them, or otherwise we’d look weak as terrorists were making their strikes.

        The order of the day seems to have been “Do something!!!”.

        Horrible snark aside, I think the protocols for a situation like this are going to call for an analysis that will need to know how it was determined that the threshold for ordering an attack was met. Afaik, that threshold is more than just “If I had to bet, I’d bet he’s a terrorist with bombs”. At least as long as he wasn’t rapidly approaching a military outpost during a time of terrorist bombings.

        And if I “had to bet”, I’d bet that the threshold for launching attacks had been lowered by someone pretty far up the chain of command, and they did so at the urging of civilian leadership. Though other motivations are also quite possible. Anger, fear, desperation, and/or wanting to look good could have been part of how this bad call was made.

        Easy for me to say, of course, and this was going to end badly, given how we’d gotten to that place.

    • #446011
      jbnw
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      • Total Posts: 7,432

      in Afghanistan is now confirmed to have killed only civilians.

      An unsurprising ironically fitting end to a war that was never declared.

    • #446052
      Earthartist
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      • Total Posts: 1,733

      No one will be held accountable and some kid will go home knowing he was told to slaughter a whole family. the united states of death

      Earthartist

    • #446053
      MizzGrizz
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      • Total Posts: 3,678

      Admitting to a mistake after the people are dead.

      How many more “mistakes” were there over the course of twenty years?

    • #446066
      jerry611
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      • Total Posts: 1,338

      This is what creates terrorists.

      This country never learns from its mistakes.

    • #446070
      Thom Paine
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 317

      Why, out of the blue did they take an interest in this case?  Something smells bad.

    • #446073
      soryang
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,838

      Same for the military institutions. This is a pathetic attempt to restore it. After 20 years of lies and cover ups by the national security combine, credibility isn’t going to be restored by this one story of suddenly finding a conscience about how many civilians you’ve slaughtered. Nothing’s changed. They’re only trying to change the focus from all their previous moral, ethical, and criminal lapses to this one egregious example of what has been going on for decades. I’m waiting for some diplomat to say of all the deaths in the post 911 US rampage, “I think it was worth it.”

      I’ll not forget what one judge said to a murderer in the court on sentencing day, don’t come in here after you intentionally pulled the trigger and murdered someone, and cry that is was a mistake, it was an intentional deliberate act.

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