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More Accountability for U.S. Commanders in Afghanistan

In the past few weeks, reprimands have been issued for military commanders in Afghanistan for mistakes on the battlefield. The effort to increase accountability comes from investigations into incident with major causalities in which large numbers of U.S. troops are killed or wounded.

The investigations are mark a new trend for the U.S. military, which had previously not tended to question the decisions of commanders during hostilities.

Adm. Mike Mullen, the Joint Chiefs chairman, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have dismissed some senior officers, signaling a change in the military culture.  “The issue of holding people accountable is something Admiral Mullen watches very, very carefully,” said a senior military official this week.

Due to the  commanders’ experience, with many on their second or third tour, they are more disposed to judge their subordinates. The military continues to look into the incidents in eastern Afghanistan that resulted in multiple death of troops during the ambushes in 2008 and 2009. The Army is reviewing the investigation reports to decide if disciplinary actions are warranted.

See Washington Post for more.


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