Pentagon: Troops ‘Shouldn’t Have’ Smashed Into MSF Hospital in Afghanistan

Says Bombed Hospital Was Broken Into 'In the Interest of Safety'

Facing growing condemnation from the international community for their actions in the weeks following their attack on the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz, an attack which killed 22 civilians, the Pentagon has admitted to a Friday incident in which they used an armored vehicle to smash into the bombed hospital, destroying potential evidence.

Ironically, the vehicle was there to deliver “investigators” to the site, and while a Pentagon spokesman conceded they shouldn’t have done so, he claimed it was done “in the interest of safety.” MSF workers were within the hospital at the time, even though it was closed after the US attack.

The Pentagon promised to repair the damage caused in the break-in, which is the closest they’re likely to ever get to admitting any culpability in anything involving the facility. Exactly how much new damage was done to the already bombed hospital is unclear.

But the timing is suspicious, as the smash-in came not long after the White House declared its opposition to an independent investigation into the attack. MSF has suggested significant evidence was destroyed during the break-in, which subsequently won’t be available if any credible investigation ever does happen.

The Pentagon has admitted to knowing that the site was a hospital long before it was ordered attacked, and confirmed that MSF contacted them when the first strikes happened. Despite this, the US continued attacks for a solid hour, and the Pentagon says it is unclear what happened after the MSF call was made.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.