Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss U.S. Military’s Investigation Into Bombing Of Civilian Hospital In Afghanistan

Wall Street Journal: Accountability in Kunduz
Editorial Board

“The Pentagon on Friday released the results of its investigation into the mistaken bombing of a hospital last October in Afghanistan … Sixteen military personnel have been punished in the attack, including one general officer, which typically means demotions and an end to careers. This still isn’t enough for Doctors Without Borders, whose doctors manned the hospital in Kunduz where 42 people died and which wants an independent investigation to consider a potential war-crimes prosecution. … Decisions on the battlefield must be made in real time with lives in the balance, and failing to act can also result in casualties. No military does more than America’s to avoid bombing civilians, and none does more to hold its soldiers accountable. … Doctors Without Borders does brave work in war zones, but its anger in this case should be directed at the Taliban, which invaded Kunduz for its own terrorist purposes and put Afghan civilians under siege” (5/1).

New York Times: The Wrong Way to Handle the Kunduz Tragedy
Eugene R. Fidell, professor at Yale Law School

“…As matters currently stand, there will be no Kunduz trial. Instead, 16 members of the American military, including a general, have received disciplinary action or adverse administrative action, including letters of reprimand, removal from command, transfer out of Afghanistan and requiring recertification in a job specialty. Given the loss of life and damage to a hospital which, by definition, is a protected site under the law of armed conflict, it is hardly surprising that many view these actions are inadequate. … Among the challenges a case like Kunduz presents is how to achieve accountability in an era in which an attack on a protected site is not the act of an isolated unit or individual. … No one should be content if matters are left where they currently stand. That would be an injustice for the victims not just of this tragic mistake, but of future ones as well” (5/1).

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