(AmericanProsperity.com) – War crimes are one of the most severe transgressions a country’s military can face during times of conflict. Drone strikes often fall into this category, especially when they target or kill innocent civilians. So, why did the Air Force recently grant President Joe Biden’s administration a free pass over a “defensive” strike that killed civilians during the evacuation of Kabul?
What Really Happened
The Defense Department carried out a strike using a Reaper drone on August 29th. It set the device to follow a vehicle suspected of containing explosives belonging to the Islamic State. The car eventually stopped at the home of Mr. Zemari Ahmadi, an aid worker with ties to a well-known humanitarian organization called Nutrition and Education International. That’s when the drone struck.
The ensuing blast killed a total of 10 civilians, including seven children. Officials have yet to prove any of the people who lost their lives, including Mr. Ahmadi, have any connection to ISIS or other terrorist organizations.
The Defense Department claims they made the strike under the presumption that the target was an imminent threat to the evacuations still taking place at the airport. They only found out later that tragically wasn’t the case.
On November 3rd, the Pentagon revealed findings stemming from an investigation completed after news of the strike first broke. Air Force Inspector General and Lt. Sami D. Said, who was in charge of the inquiry, delivered the briefing.
Inspector General Said Speaks Out
The Inspector General spoke very deliberately, clearly defending the military’s actions. He even said the intelligence group directly responsible for threat assessment, who also decides when to strike, never acted maliciously or with neglect.
Even though ten civilians died and the government has no reliable evidence to prove a link to ISIS, he sees no possible way to interpret it as a war crime.
According to General Said, analysts did their best with the intelligence available to them at the time. He did surmise that confirmation bias may have been a factor but said that it seemed unavoidable at the time of the strike. Said also listed several suggestions to prevent future issues in his report to the Secretary of Defense.
It is Said’s impression that no one was at fault here. He feels it was nothing more than a severely unfortunate mistake. Loved ones of those lost aren’t likely to be so quick to forgive.
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