US Troops May Have Exceeded Authority in Bombing Afghan Hospital

Order for New Training Suggests Strike Was Not by the Book

Saturday’s US attack against the Doctors Without Borders hospital on the outskirts of Kunduz, Afghanistan, appears to have been a problem, and not just because it was an attack on a hospital full of civilians and killed at least 22 people, including a bunch of staff members.

The strike also may have exceeded the troops’ combat authority in Afghanistan, a point which is suggested by Gen. John Campbell talking up new training for special forces troops reviewing not only rules of engagement but “all of our operational authorities.

Of course killing civilians is a problem in and of itself, but that’s a problem the Pentagon is used to dealing with in Afghanistan, and the new training suggests that there was something more about this incident which is causing alarm about the way it was carried out.

Doctors Without Borders condemned the attack as a war crime, and has announced today that it is “taking stock” of all work in Afghanistan to decide if they can safely remain in the country in the wake of this latest attack against them.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of