US Committed Serious Errors in Afghan Strikes: Report

Investigation finds civilian deaths could have been reduced
By Jess Kilby,  Newser User
Posted Jun 3, 2009 2:40 AM CDT
Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, President Barack Obama's nominee to be commander of US forces in Afghanistan, testifies on Capitol Hill yesterday.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – The American military could have reduced the number of civilian causalities during its controversial Afghanistan air strikes last month if it had followed proper procedures, a military investigation has found. Personnel made serious errors in the bloody May 4 raids, including the failure of one plane to reconfirm a target after being required to circle back, the New York Times reports.

The report is the clearest admission yet of American error regarding the strikes. It claims that all targets attacked that day posed legitimate threats to US or Afghan forces, but concedes that in several instances air strikes were either an inappropriate response or were carried out incorrectly. The Afghan government has reported that 140 civilians were killed in the bombing runs.
(Read more Afghanistan stories.)