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  • Report: US military must do more to avoid civilian deaths

    Less foreign wars to fight would be helpful.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...ths/ar-AAVJfbd
    Report: US military must do more to avoid civilian deaths
    By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press - Yesterday 6:06 PM

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military needs to adjust its planning, training, targeting and use of weapons in order to better avoid widespread civilian deaths and damage such as the devastating 2017 battle to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State militants, a new RAND report said Thursday.

    The report requested by the Pentagon reflects criticism of the military's airstrike campaign that, according to some estimates, killed more than 1,600 civilians in Raqqa, as the U.S.-led coalition worked to destroy the Islamic State caliphate that wrested control of large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

    Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the report, which lays out a series of recommendations to improve military procedures and strategy, will be used as the department develops its own broader plan to reduce civlian harm.

    “No other military works as hard as we do to mitigate civilian harm, and yet we still cause it,” said Kirby. ”We're going to continue to try to learn from past issues.”

    RAND concluded that the battle for Raqqa provided important lessons.

    Michael McNerney, lead author of the RAND report, called Raqqa “a cautionary tale about civilian harm in urban combat.” He said it "should serve as an extra incentive to the DoD to strengthen its policies and procedures to mitigate, document and respond to civilian harm.”

    The RAND report noted that there has been a wide range of estimated civilian casualties during the seige, but also said it believes that 60%-80% of Raqqa was left uninhabitable by the time the city was liberated in October 2017...
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