Documents Reveal Basic Flaws in Pentagon Dismissals of Civilian Casualty Claims

A Times investigation found inconsistent approaches to assessing claims of civilians killed by coalition forces — including failures to conduct simple internet searches.

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Hasnain says:

The examples in here are just sad. It clearly points to a lack of resourcing (lots of examples of the reviewers not having Arabic skills) but I wonder if there is a more fundamental incentive problem: are the reviewers incentivized to dismiss as many reports as possible so the pentagon doesn’t look bad? After all some of these look credible at first sight, e.g “the strike happened 17km away from where people claimed it was” (before someone points out the other location also had the same name).

“This investigation focuses on reviewers’ inability to establish details about the locations of strikes. In reviewing 80 assessments, including those with high numbers of reported civilian casualties, The Times repeatedly found what appeared to be simple mistakes. In a dozen instances, Pentagon assessors said that a location could not be identified, even though it was easily found on the internet, or they seemed to have just looked in the wrong place.”

Posted on 2022-01-04T04:43:50+0000