‘We must work harder’: Austin promises more transparency following new report on civilian casualties

Though an impartial Protection Division evaluate launched this month concluded the Afghanistan bombing was a mistake, it assessed that the drone strike was not attributable to misconduct or negligence, and it declined to advocate any disciplinary motion.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby mentioned Monday that Austin had requested a briefing from Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, on the Syria airstrike.

Austin on Wednesday mentioned he was “dedicated to adjusting our insurance policies and our procedures to be sure that we enhance,” and that he can be “holding all our senior leaders liable for placing these insurance policies and procedures into impact as we go ahead.”

“We do work very arduous to keep away from inflicting hurt to civilians. Each civilian casualty is a tragedy,” Austin mentioned. “However I might additionally say that I’ve little doubt that we will work tougher. And I’d transcend that and say we must work tougher.”

He added that the Protection Division must be more clear when it investigates experiences of errant strikes.

“The American folks need to know that we take this subject very severely, and that we’re dedicated to defending civilians and getting this proper — each by way of how we execute missions on their behalf and the way we discuss them afterward,” Austin mentioned Wednesday.

“We have now more work to do in that regard, clearly,” he continued. “And I acknowledge that, and I’m dedicated to doing this in full partnership with our army leaders.”

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