Some of MSF’s questions in response to the U.S. military investigation into attack on MSF hospital in Kunduz

29 April 2016

  1. What was the physical description of the intended target provided by the Afghan forces and how did it match the description of the MSF hospital?
  2. Which forces – either U.S. or Afghan – on the ground had ‘eyes on the target’ [National Directorate of Security compound] before and during the attack? And if the U.S. did not, why not?
  3. During the airstrike, how many calls or warnings were recording from Afghan Special Forces to the U.S. Special Forces commander or the Joint Terminal Attack Controller to inform them of the targeting error, i.e. that the intended target (National Directorate of Security compound) was not being hit?
  4. Why was the attack not called off before the AC-130 completed its mission? Who would have been responsible to call off the attack of an AC-130 deprived of its essential communication capacity operating in a densely populated area? And why didn’t he/she?
  5. How do you reconcile the difference in the duration of the attack between the U.S. version of events and the MSF internal review?
  6. Given that U.S. troops were not directly under fire, what are the limits of engagement of U.S forces in combat activities?
  7. How do you justify that no court martial is recommended in response to the killing of 42 people and considering the protected status of the hospital?
  8. Who within the chain of command is ultimately responsible for the deaths of 42 people, and how is that person being held accountable?
  9. Does the U.S. consider the actions of U.S. forces to be negligent, and if not, why?
  10. How will the disciplinary measures chosen deter U.S. military personnel from violating the laws of war in the future?
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