US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has written to top officials urging them to “increase efforts to prevent civilian casualties.” It is Austin’s biggest move to date in the wake of the US airstrikes in Syria in 2019 that brought to the attention of dozens of civilians killed.
“We can and will do more to protect the public,” Austin wrote in the letter. The Pentagon should come up with a plan to deal with the problem within three months from the Secretary of Defense. “Protecting innocent civilians in the course of our actions is essential to the ultimate success of the operation,” Austin said, stressing their “moral need.”
Austin’s summary comes on the same day that research firm RAND Corporation released a critical report on the US military’s handling of such incidents. When planning attacks, the defense will focus on the enemy, which will “ignore the broader civilian image.” Researchers say this could lead to civilian deaths.
Not enough research
In addition, according to the report, the military has not conducted a “sufficient and consistent investigation” into the incidents. According to researchers, soldiers who publish reports of civilian deaths came to the conclusion that they ended up in a cover-up. So it is not clear exactly how many civilians have died in recent years as a result of US military operations.
The New York Times He wrote late last year that the U.S. Armed Forces had largely based their bombings on countries such as Iraq and Syria on the basis of insufficient intelligence. A US military spokesman responded that “even the best technology in the world” cannot prevent mistakes, for example by misinterpreting intelligence. Said very sorry. “We’re trying to learn from those mistakes.”
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