This is a terrible tragedy, and a full investigation is needed. No matter how the investigation turns out I think it will be bad either way. The bottom line is one of three things happened; either there was a US JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) trained warfighter with the Afghan forces who called in fire on he wrong location, or the AC-130 mistakenly hit the wrong target, or the worse possible scenario is we actually trusted an Afghan to call in deadly accurate fire onto the hospital.
“The Afghan forces called in for fire to support them because they were under direct fire,” Army Gen. John Campbell, the chief of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, told reporters at the Pentagon on Monday.
We would not trust the Afghan medics to put on a band-aid, so I surely would not trust them to call in “the rain” onto a target. I would rather trust Stevie Wonder to drive me through Manhattan. They should only be calling in their own air support flown by Afghan pilots, not US pilots.
Until we know the whole story, I have to assume and hope (as sad as it is to say) that this was mistaken location or aircraft targeting by US forces and not that we trusted Afghan forces to confirm, clear and coordinate a close air support mission.