Pentagon To Not Punish Anyone After Killing Innocent Civilians

( This week, the Pentagon announced that no military personnel will be punished in any way after being involved in a drone strike that was botched in Afghanistan, resulting in the death of 10 civilians.

Back in September, the Pentagon had admitted that an August drone strike that was the last one initiated before the full U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan was actually a mistake. Among the civilians who were killed were seven children.

Initially, the Pentagon said the drone strike was a necessary move that prevented an attack from the Islamic State on U.S. troops. Following that, though, an investigation was launched into the incident.

The result of that investigation was that no one violated the law in any way, but it also didn’t exonerate the people who were involved in the matter, saying that commanders should make that final decision.

Ultimately, Lloyd Austin III, the secretary of defense, left the decision on possible administrative action to two of his senior commanders. Those two people were General Ricard Clarke, who heads the Special Operations Command, and General Kenneth McKenzie Jr., who heads the Central Command of the military.

Those two officers decided there weren’t any grounds to penalize the people who were involved in the strike. That’s according to the chief spokesman for the Pentagon, John Kirby, who recently told reporters:

“What we saw here was a breakdown in process, and execution in procedural events, not the result of negligence, not the result of misconduct, not the result of poor leadership.

“So, I do not anticipate there being issues of personal accountability to be had with respect to the August 29 airstrike.”

The Pentagon didn’t fully acknowledge that it even made a mistake in the drone strike until The New York Times conducted an investigation of some video evidence. That video challenged the assertions the military was making that the drone strike hit a vehicle that was carrying explosives that were to be used in Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport.

In the last 20 years, it has become apparent that the United States military has killed “hundreds, if not thousands, of civilians by accident,” according to a Times report, while carrying out military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Syria. Much of the time, the military doesn’t hold its members accountable for their actions.

One time they did do so was back in 2016. Then, the Pentagon issued discipline for at least 12 military personnel as a result of the roles they had in an October 2015 airstrike on a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in Afghanistan. That strike killed 42 people.

None of the military personnel who were disciplined, though, faced any criminal charges.

Many people are already criticizing the Pentagon’s latest decision not to discipline anyone, even though they admitted wrongdoing.

One of those people is Steven Kwon, the founder and president of the company that employed the driver of the truck that was hit by the drone strike. He commented after the decision was made public:

“This decision is shocking. How can our military wrongly take the lives of 10 precious Afghan people and hold no one accountable in any way?”