Friday, October 31, 2014

Friendly Fire Deaths Caused By Defense Budget Cuts?

Two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets of Strike Fighter Squadron 31 fly a combat patrol over Afghanistan, Dec. 15, 2008. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon

EXCLUSIVE: Budget Cuts, Errant B-1 Bomber Blamed In Deadly ‘Friendly Fire’ Accident In Afghanistan -- Washington Times

The “friendly fire” airstrike that killed five American soldiers in Afghanistan on June 9 is the first known case of a battlefield catastrophe that can be linked to automatic defense spending cuts that greatly curtailed prewar training.

A review of the worst American fratricide in the long Afghanistan War also shows that the military’s official investigation faults a Green Beret commander, an Air Force air controller and the four-man crew on the B-1B bomber that conducted the errant strike.

But the investigation, headed by an Air Force general, does not question the use of a strategic bomber for close air support, even though experts say the tragedy illustrates why the big plane is misplaced in that role.

The Washington Times has reviewed the investigation and interviewed knowledgeable sources to compile a picture of the doomed operation in southern Afghanistan’s Zabul province, as well as the political and military missteps that precipitated it. Key among them, according to defense experts, was the use of the strategic bomber.

Read more ....

My Comment: I always remember what former U.S. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld once said .... you go to war with what you have. Could these crews have been trained better ... yes. Was a B-1 bomber suitable for this attack ... probably not. Would more training have prevented this .... probably. But in the end .... I hate to say it .... "shit happens".

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