Why does the US kill so many civilians in Syria and Iraq?

Two weeks ago the U.S. military finally admitted what the non-governmental monitoring group said for the past few months: the United States-led coalition fighting “Islamic state” (banned in Russia organization — approx.ed.) since August 2014, has killed an astounding number of civilians in Iraq and Syria after the arrival to power of President trump four months ago. This resulted in lost an “astounding number of civilian lives,” as noted last week, the head of the independent UN Commission to investigate the civil war in Syria.

“At least 484 civilians were inadvertently killed in the strikes by the coalition”, — is emphasized in the published 2 June statement of the Central command (Centrom), responsible for the Middle East region. Four months ago, representatives of the Centcom reported that at least 199 of civilians were killed at that time as the result of bombing attacks. According to independent monitoring groups, the number of victims is much greater. According to experts of the group of the monitoring group Airwars, the victims of the air raids of the coalition included almost 4 thousand civilians.

The number of civilians killed has increased, mainly due to the fact that the battles now happen in the depth of the main cities. Although the number of victims among civilians is growing, the American military is not particularly concerned about the monitoring, investigation and responsibility in the case when we are talking about civilian casualties. The elucidation of the causes of these tragic mistakes, attempts to draw the appropriate conclusions and improve the us military’s own standards — all this could save thousands of lives.

Mr. trump has given the military the “full right” to decide how and in what quantity to apply military force, while Obama such authority was largely under the control of the White house. However, the Minister of defence James Mattis (James Mattis) may 28, insisted that the rules of use of military force has not changed. “There are no exemptions in regard to our intentions regarding the protection of innocent people,” he said.

One of the reasons for the significant growth in the number of victims among persons not participating in hostilities, is that the United States began to drop more bombs — an increase of more than 20% in the first four months of the presidency, Mr. trump compared to the last four months of the Obama presidency.

In addition, a greater number of air strikes is applied in such densely populated areas like the city of Mosul, the last stronghold of the IG in Iraq. Cleared March 17, 230-pound bomb to kill the two snipers caused the detonation of the explosive, which led to the building collapse and death of the 105 Iraqi civilians. This data leads Central command Centcom. Since the militants of the Islamic state using house to house so the command centers, arms depots and firing positions, civilian casualties become more likely.

Besides, there are additional factors that give cause for concern.

Although the us military did the bombing is more intense, yet no independent evaluation of the use of intelligence to identify targets. Brigadier General Richard CoE (Richard Coe), who conducted an investigation of an erroneous attack in September last year on a Syrian military convoy, admitted that while there is no independent “red team” (red team) for control over decision-making, although they are widely used in other Commands. “It is expected that everyone will do it themselves, and then, after analyzing the data, you send all the “pros” and “cons” up to those who make decisions,” the General said kOe. However, people dealing with identification of enemy targets that can not simultaneously assess their own judgments.

Until 13 June the us military were only two people involved in full-time jobs are investigating the cause of the civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria. Today this work in a full time offer seven employees, but this number is insufficient given the fact that about 10 thousand troops involved in the war in the air, placed currently in Qatar at the headquarters of the Command. Dozens of people were investigating similar incidents at the peak of the military campaign in Afghanistan in 2011. If the military, in fact, concerned about the number of victims among the civilian population, then you need to send such teams are more prepared and experienced in determining the goals.

In addition, there is no longer a public responsibility. On 26 may, the employee of the press Department of the military Department confirmed that the Pentagon is no longer making any confessions in that case, if his own aircraft is responsible for civilian casualties, and such data are likely to be hidden under the umbrella of the “coalition”. The United States military carried out 95% of air strikes in Syria and 68% in Iraq. Central command should be responsible for their actions, and not to engage its sputtering.

Congress has not demonstrated a particular interest in identifying the causes of a large number of civilian casualties in the prosecution of the commanders and officers of the lower link or to ensure that the planning of the lessons to be learned from erroneous strikes. Congress could undertake the Supervisory role and require the Pentagon to report on what measures are being taken to reduce casualties among civilians. He could allocate additional funds for special training U.S. and coalition officers on this issue and hold public hearings with the participation of senior civilian and military officials.

Since the beginning of the war was made about 22 thousand air strikes and us military keep saying We are doing everything possible to protect the civilian population. The implementation of such promises is not the only correct action, as strategically important are also more long-term effectiveness of the fight against terrorism.