The officials said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved the recommendations made by the generals in charge of the Special Operations Command, who based their decision on an independent report filed by the Pentagon last month.
This report, written by Air Force Lt. Gen. Sami Said and approved by Mr. Austin in November, determined that problems in communication as well as in the process of identifying and confirming bombing targets have occurred. led to disaster.
The strikes killed ten civilians, including seven children. The conclusion of the report states that this is a
tragic mistake, but that no misconduct or negligence would be involved.
Lloyd Austin asked Generals Frank McKenzie, chief of central command, and Richard Clark, chief of special operations command, to review Lt. Gen. Said’s findings and make recommendations to him.
The two generals said they agreed with the conclusions of the Said report and did not recommend any disciplinary action. This in turn accepted the Secretary of Defense, according to officials who requested anonymity to discuss these decisions which have not yet been made public.
Lloyd Austin’s approval not to impose sanctions was first revealed by The New York Times.
Employee of an American organization
The drone strike, on August 29, hit a white Toyota Corrolla model sedan and killed Zemerai Ahmadi and nine members of his family, including seven children. Mr. Ahmadi, 37, was a long-time employee of a US aid agency.
The information that this car represented a threat was transmitted days after a suicide attack by a member of Daesh (the Islamic State armed group) killed 13 American soldiers and 169 Afghan civilians at Kabul airport. . The United States was busy evacuating thousands of American citizens, Afghans and other allies in the wake of the Taliban takeover.
According to the findings of the Said report, the US armed forces sincerely believed that the vehicle they were following posed an imminent threat and that they should stop it before it got too close to the airport.
The report points out that better communication between decision-makers and support staff in the field could have raised doubts and avoided tragedy, but there is no evidence to say beyond any doubt.
Financial compensation for survivors?
He made several recommendations, including that of doing more to avoid what the military calls
confirmation bias, that is, the team responsible for making the strike decision would have been too quick to conclude that what they were seeing was consistent with the intelligence they received regarding a threat.
He added that staff members should be given a mandate to question the decisions of the team responsible for ordering the strikes. It also recommends that military procedures be changed to prevent children and innocent civilians from being present at the time of strikes.
Since the tragedy, the United States has reportedly been in communication with the surviving members of the decimated family with the aim of offering them financial compensation and possibly evacuating them from the country.