Dec 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

No disciplinary action for Kabul airstrike that killed 10 civilians

Photo of Lloyd Austin speaking at a hearing

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin testifies during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Ending the U.S. Military Mission in Afghanistan at the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 29. Photo: Rod Lamkey/Pool via Getty Images

Defense officials said Monday they will not discipline any U.S. troops involved in the August airstrike that mistakenly killed 10 civilians in Kabul, AP reports.

Why it matters: U.S. officials had initially claimed the strike successfully "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" but an investigation later found that it killed an aid worker along with nine members of his family.

  • An independent Pentagon review did not find evidence of criminal negligence or violation of law.
  • The botched operation was the result of "execution errors combined with confirmation bias and communication breakdowns," Lt. Gen. Sami Said, the inspector general of the Air Force, said in November.
  • Austin endorsed no disciplinary action based on recommendations from the generals who lead U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command, according to AP.

Worth noting: Said did issue recommendations to bolster procedures for mitigating the risk of confirmation bias and review pre-strike procedures used to assess the presence of civilians.

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