Washington: The Pentagon will set up a new center next year, which aims to prevent civilian casualties before attacks begin during military operations in different countries of the world through better training and greater surveillance. The plan, released on Thursday at the instructions of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, comes after widespread criticism over the US airstrike in Kabul last August. 10 civilians were killed in this attack in the final phase of the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.
A senior defense official said on condition of anonymity that “several million dollars” would be spent annually on development and other improvements to the new Civil Defense Center and the plan would involve about 150 personnel. The development of the center will start from October 1, 2023 and will be fully functional by 2025.
The Afghanistan drone strike was criticized mainly because final decision makers based on intelligence were too hasty to conclude that the white Toyota Corolla contained the bomb, which turned out to be the wrong vehicle.
Under the plan, personnel in important locations such as the US Northern Command in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Indo-Pacific, South America and Colorado, as well as all military services, other senior commands, Special Operations Command, Cyber Command and Defense Intelligence Agency will be kept.
Human rights organizations in particular have consistently criticized that US military strikes in Syria, Iraq and other war zones have killed civilians, but officials have failed to acknowledge these or have been slow to act against them. In some cases the US military was unable to arrive at the scene immediately after the attack, concluding that allegations of civilian casualties could not be substantiated.
FIRST PUBLISHED : August 26, 2022, 21:22 IST