The troops “most closely associated” with the airstrike that hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital have been suspended from their duties, the top US commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday. Speaking at a ?press conference in Kabul, which was broadcast into the Pentagon briefing room, Army Gen. John Campbell said the strike was a “tragic mistake” due in large part to human error. Those who requested the strike and those who performed it “did not take the appropriate measures to verify that the facility was a legitimate military target,” Campbell said, leading to the hospital being misidentified as the target. Brig. Gen. Wilson Shoffner, spokesman for the Resolute Support Mission, said the investigation found that some people involved did not follow the rules of engagement. Neither officer said how many troops were suspended.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.