Afghan troops called in U.S. airstrike that bombed hospital | Washington Examiner

The airstrike that struck the hospital in Afghanistan on Saturday, killing 22 people, was not called in by U.S. troops, the general in charge of U.S. forces in Afghanistan said Monday.Afghan forces in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz came under fire and requested support from a U.S. AC-130 gunship, which then opened fire on a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, Gen. John Campbell told reporters Monday morning.Campbell would not go into further details about Saturday’s attack, but said U.S., NATO and Afghan officials all are conducting investigations into what happened.

Source: Afghan troops called in U.S. airstrike that bombed hospital | Washington Examiner

Did a US AC-130 pound the heck out of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz? It sure looks that way. But it appears the strike was called in by our Afghan allies.

And of coure DWB (MSF) is calling for an investigation. OK, sure. Let’s start with a couple of easy questions. Like, why  did our Afghan allies report that armed enemies occupied the building? Were DWB providing sanctuary to armed forces? Did they do so under duress? Or were they willing accomplices? Understand, either way, if armed enemies occupied the building, it lost its legal protections under the law of war.

And why isn’t the hospital appropriately marked with the Red Cross or Red Crescent as required by international law and the law of war?

In theory, the idea of DWB, providing medical services to any and all, without taking sides in a conflict, is admirable. In practice, however, given the nature of conflict today, DWB hospitals and care tend to be situated in areas outside the control of a legitimate government. In effect, they become a health care provider for insurgent forces.

5 thoughts on “Afghan troops called in U.S. airstrike that bombed hospital | Washington Examiner”

  1. I might feel sorry for DWB, except (a) they’re French, (b) they are America-hating Communists, and (c) I remember their obnoxious opposition to quarantine for people who might have been exposed to Ebola.

  2. If fire on US or allied troops is coming from a hospital, that hospital loses it’s Geneva Convention protection. Therefore this incident is prima facia not a war crime.

    The party owning the hospital is the one responsible for maintaining it’s Geneva Convention protection. Note, this is not the US or the Afghani’s responsibility.

    Médecins Sans Frontières is at fault here.

    1. The only issue I have is getting independent confirmation of fire coming from the hospital. If the Afghans called in the strike, that puts them at risk of being accused of war crimes, so they have an incentive to lie. DWB of course doesn’t want to waste this opportunity to stick a finger in the eye of the US military, so they also have an incentive to lie. As far as I’m concerned there’s no evidence to prove a war crime beyond a reasonable doubt, but I would like to know the truth.

  3. Personally, if I was the FCO (Fire Control Officer) or the Aircraft Commander on that gunship, I would be very hesitant to shoot at anything on the ground based on some Afghan ground-pounder’s say-so. Unless there is an American, a Brit, a Canadian or an Ozzie on the fires net, giving me the green light, I would be pretty damned reluctant to open fire. I’ve seen too many flaky foreign (ie. non-Western) troops panic and start shooting at everything in sight, including each other.

    Just tell the Afghans they aren’t getting air support if they don’t have a JTAC from one of the four nations I mentioned above (Hell, I’ll even throw in the Polish GROM and Lithuanian SOF for good measure). Simple as that. Why hand the enemy a perfect PR opportunity if we don’t have to?

  4. DWB seems very insistent that they provided the GPS coordinates of the hospital to the proper people. Whatever happened to all those overly restrictive Rules of Engagement I have heard so much about?

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