Latest in Kunduz

Military Justice

Should the U.S. Military Receive the Benefit of the Doubt When Investigating Itself for Alleged War Crimes?

The October 2015 bombing of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan has amplified a long-simmering discussion regarding the ability of the American military to objectively conduct internal investigations into war crimes and, where necessary, to hold culpable individuals accountable. Throughout the last fifteen years of conflict, the military has investigated and prosecuted numerous allegations of war crimes—defined here as serious violations of the laws of armed conflict.

International Law: LOAC

Centcom Report on the Kunduz Hospital Attack: Accounting for a Tragedy of Errors

The U.S. military Central Command (Centcom) report on the attack on the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital at Kunduz, Afghanistan demonstrates how a perfect storm of mistakes and mishaps can lead to tragic results. While military rules of engagement (ROE) seek to cabin the use of lethal force, aggressive commanders in the heat of battle can fail to heed that guidance. Moreover, even the best technology can fail.

International Criminal Court (ICC)

Potential Implications of CENTCOM’s MSF Investigation on the ICC’s Preliminary Examination of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan

This morning, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) released its formal report of investigation into the airstrike on a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) trauma center in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Of note in the report is a finding that the “aircrew’s failure to exercise judgement . . .


Why the Emphasis on Self-Defense? Putting the U.S. Air and Ground Operations in Kunduz in Legal and Policy Context

The role of U.S. forces in helping the Afghan government retake Kunduz from the Afghan Taliban has drawn attention to the complicated mix of legal and policy constraints currently governing U.S. operations there. According to the Wall Street Journal, the United States has carried out at least 8 airstrikes in the Kunduz area in recent days, and now there has been an exchange of fire involving U.S. Special Forces deployed as military advisers to the Afghan Army.

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