The US armed forces seldom criminalize error or failure. We do not shoot commanders for failure or for ineptitude. That is not to say that we do not punish error and failure. In a system that functions on the basis of winnowing out (up or out) less than perfect performers at every successively higher level of promotion and assignment of duties, a written reprimand or letter of admonition placed in a personnel record is a career ending event. This is not a small matter for someone who has never had any other occupation. That is what happened in the DoD investigation into the AC-130 attack on the Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in Kunduz. If the investigation had determined that the attack on the hospital had been deliberate, then, in the US system, criminal charges would have been possible under US military law (UCMJ).
The recent behavior and statements of MSF with regard to the incident in Kunduz and in Syria at Aleppo raise serious questions as to whether this medical charity can still be thought of as a neutral party in the wars or if it has come to have a political agenda. The insistence that the Kunduz attack should be investigated by an entity outside the US government is just foolish. There is no indication at all that DoD did not do an adequate job in the investigation of the Kunduz attack. If MSF think that the US is going to subject its operations and people to some international body for investigation they have become detached from reality. pl
A photograph of a Catholic school in Aleppo, Syria in Ottoman times. This was the College of the Holy Land in Aleppo. That is St. Anthony's statue in the center. The Ottoman sultan/caliph was a financial supporter of the school. The sultan's "tughra" (stylized signature) can be seen in the foreground of the picture. The school was run by the ever present Franciscans. In the background on an escutcheon you can see the insignia of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher, another supporter of the school. pl