|Left: red dots mark reported Taliban presence, and white stars indicate |
location of US airstrikes. Right: aerial view of hospital. (Photo courtesy of
the New York Times)
To date, Obama has issued a statement of condolences and confirmed that the Department of Defense has launched a full investigation. Doctors Without Borders is working on their own "impartial investigation." UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon also condemned the incident and called for an impartial investigation.
Nevertheless, Obama also restated that he would continue working closely with the Afghan government and military to "secure their country." Although the Taliban is responsible for 70% of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, they nevertheless do not yet possess the power to attack from above, unlike the US, which has come under attack for using its air power to inflict unnecessary civilian causalities. This last strike marks an increase in military activity since the US began withdrawing some of its forces and limiting its targets in 2012.
Doctors Without Borders is protected under international humanitarian law.
Well, when you come down to it, it's all good and fun to bastardize the military, or George Bush, or President Obama. But what could we have done differently? In light of the (mostly ineffectual) War Powers Act, should our legislative body be given the right to check executive action beyond the initial declaration of war? Would this keep incidents such as these to a minimum? Or would our dysfunctional and partisan system simply weigh itself down and play hostage-taking with human lives halfway across the world?