The former Joint Chiefs Chairman under Obama, Mike Mullen, stated this Sunday that those who were responsible for the botched airstrike that murdered numerous civilians should “absolutely” be found and made accountable.
Mullen was asked during ABC’s “This Week” if there has to be accountability for the strike after United States Central Command General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. said Friday that it was unlikely that any ISIS-K members were taken out in the August 29 airstrike that killed an allied aid worker and nine people in his family.
“Absolutely. I believe there should. This was obviously a very complex situation,” Mullen said. “We lost 13 military troops two days before. There was clear intelligence that more strikes were coming, so it was in that context in which this strike happened.”
Mullen, who was the Joint Chiefs Chairman during the end of the Bush White House and into the Obama White House, said the strike was a “terrible mistake” and that he believes McKenzie was right to apologize. He also said he hopes that Sec. of Defense Lloyd Austin’s investigation of the incident will mean “accountability.”
Current Joint Chief General Mark Milley said earlier this month that the United States drone strike was a “righteous strike,” but then reversed his stance on Friday by stating that the incident was a “tragedy.”
“In a high threat and dynamic environment, the commanders had appropriate authority and had good certainty that the target was good but after better post-strike review our conclusion is that innocent civilians died,” Milley stated. “This is a terrible tragedy of war and we are committed to full transparency about this event.”
Mullen was also asked this Sunday on ABC’s Martha Raddatz about the Pentagon waiting several days to admit this mistake after a report from The NY Times revealed the intelligence about innocent children getting killed.
“I believe you want to get this right,” Mullen said. “Clearly they were certain at the time it was a good strike, and it does take time, and this is the same command that was evacuating Afghanistan with everything that involves. I’m not very worried about how long it took.”
Author: Scott Dowdy