Analysts See US Probe Into MSF Airstrike Raising More Questions

Conclusions Suggest Troops Intentionally Disregarded Standard Procedure

Last week, the Pentagon announced an undisclosed number of troops had been suspended over the attack on an MSF hospital in Afghanistan, but analysts reading through the conclusions of the internal investigation say it raises a number of “unsettling” questions.

With the attack shrugged off as a combination of “human error” and some technical problems, the Pentagon seemingly viewed the matter as closed, but the sheer number of “mistakes” has many calling the conclusions flat out incredible, and suggesting that the Pentagon is intentionally disregarding standard procedure in Afghanistan.

The official narrative, the analysts note, rests on the idea that the attacking warplane had taken off without a no-strike list, then had to dodge a non-existant missile, never corrected its targeting systems, and when ordered to attack a target at empty coordinates, chose to attack the “closest large building” even though it was out of view of the troops who claimed to be under attack.

The targeting system problem is particularly grievous, as indications are it was a trivial adjustment to make, but even all of this could’ve been mitigated except for a “technical failure” that left the plane without electronic communications, another in a long line of unlikely problems that, according to the Pentagon, aligned and led to them attacking a site they were explicitly forbidden from attacking.

Though the Pentagon seems to have more or less ended the matter with this, it’s likely adding to the calls, particularly from MSF, to conduct an international investigation, since the Pentagon’s probe isn’t particular credible.

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.