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Sunday, 21 June 2009

No One to Blame for US Deadly Terror Attacks on Afghan Civilians

A military investigation into American air strikes in western Afghanistan on May 4 that killed dozens of Afghan civilians calls for additional training of United States air crews and ground forces. But the inquiry does not hold any military personnel culpable for failing to follow strict rules devised to avoid civilian casualties.

The recommendation to require immediate training or retraining of all personnel conducting or supporting operations in Afghanistan, or training in the United States for such missions, is one of seven included in a declassified 13-page executive summary of the inquiry’s findings released late Friday afternoon by the military’s Central Command.

The report did not recommend curtailing the use of air strikes, particularly to defend American and allied forces who come under fire. But it did conclude, as reported earlier this month in The New York Times, that American personnel failed to follow strict rules designed to minimize civilian casualties.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and other top American officials have said that reducing civilian casualties is essential to winning Afghan support for the American and allied operations massacres in the country, and senior officials signaled this week that they were likely to embrace the inquiry’s recommendations. More