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Tag Archive: Iraq

Letter to the Editor: There Is Much More to a Civilian Casualty Investigation than Eyewitness Accounts


I applaud and agree with Sarah Knuckey’s, Ole Solvang’s, Jonathan Horowitz’s and Radhya Almutawakel’s recent post (“Pentagon Admits Major Investigation Flaw: imeshey Rarely Talk to Air Strike Witnesses or Victims”) to the extent it suggests that more witness interviews would be helpful when investigating incidents involving civilian deaths, but their over-reliance on witness statements illustrates a lack of awareness about the limitations and hazards of what they call their “bedrock” fact-finding technique.…   continue »

Pentagon Admits Major Investigation Flaw: They Rarely Talk to Air Strike Witnesses or Victims


In a transcript of a Pentagon Press Briefing, released this week by Airwars, Central Command’s Deputy Director for Operations made a striking admission about U.S. investigations into civilian casualties in Syria:

Q:  Okay.  So, you didn’t talk to anybody on the ground and nobody visited the site. 

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America’s AUMF Problem: Tomorrow’s Senate Hearing and a New Proposal from Eliot Engel

Events over the last several weeks show that not only is the AUMF issue not going away, but that Congress continues to inch closer to agreement. This Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on “Reviewing Congressional Authorizations for the Use of Military Force.” As readers well know, the executive branch continues to rely on the war authorization Congress passed a week after the 9/11 attacks.…   continue »

Changes to Rules of Engagement Approval Levels and Civilian Casualties

Anyone serious about combating ISIS and minimizing civilian casualties needs to consider the importance of the Rules of Engagement (ROE) in Iraq and Syria.  We offer our thoughts on the ROE in the hope of deepening, if not starting, conversation. First, we examine the application of ROE in light of the ISIS tactic of packing civilians into a building and then baiting an attack. …   continue »

ISIS Tactic of “Baiting” US-Coalition to Kill Civilians–and who bears responsibility


Many are searching for an explanation for the recent spike in civilian casualties resulting from coalition operations in Iraq and Syria, including specific incidents which have reportedly involved particularly high numbers. On Thursday, the Department of Defense described to reporters a particularly gruesome tactic on the part of ISIS that may explain some of these tragic outcomes.…   continue »

Comparing: The Leaked Draft vs Final Executive Order Barring Citizens of 7 Muslim-Majority Nations and All Refugees

On Friday, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order implementing new immigration policies, which he stated are designed to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America.” Most consequentially, the order:

  • creates a 90-day entry ban on nationals of seven majority-Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen;
  • provides for indefinite extension of the entry ban on nationals from any of those seven countries if their government is unable to provide adequate information to assess whether applicants are a security or public-safety threat;
  • halts the admission of refugees from Syria indefinitely;
  • prohibits all refugee admissions into the United States for 120 days;
  • on the resumption of the refugee admissions, prioritizes refugees fleeing religious-based persecution if the individual is a member of a minority religion in his or her country of nationality (e.g., Christians in a Muslim-majority nation);
  • establishes a program to collect and publish information about “terrorism-related activity” and “major offenses” allegedly committed by foreign nationals in the United States

The President’s action on Friday follows two days of speculation since an earlier draft version of the order was leaked to the press.…   continue »