Mistakes by the crew flying an AC-130 gunship, compounded by equipment and procedural failures, led to the devastating attack on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in northern Afghanistan last year, and 16 American military personnel, including a general officer, have been punished for their roles in the strike, the Defense Department announced on Friday. The punishments for the attack on Oct. 3 in Kunduz, which killed 42 people, will be “administrative actions” only, and were not more severe because the attack was determined to be unintentional. The punishments include suspension and removal from command as well as letters of reprimand, which can seriously damage a career. But none of the service members being disciplined will face criminal charges.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.