General Question

ibstubro's avatar

Given that the US probably has the most sophisticated military in the world, how do "surgical strikes" translate into Doctors Without Borders apologies?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) October 7th, 2015
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

22 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

That’s it. The strikes are on surgeons!

Buttonstc's avatar

That is just so sad. What I find the most incredible fact in that article is that Doctors Without Borders REPEATEDLY communicated the GPS coordinates of their hospital location to the proper authorities.

The fact that that critical info was not relayed by the US Military to its operators is inexcusable. Somebody in a supervisory command position got lazy or careless. But how often do we see officers held accountable for their errors? It’s usually the poor sap with his finger on the trigger who ends up being the fall guy.

flutherother's avatar

I’m sorry, we’re doing more harm than good. It is time for us to go home now.

msh's avatar

With the Russian influx in the area, the close call with Russian bomber jets and US drones, and Putin’s ok on deadly attacks on the opposition groups that the US supports, it has all dramatically increased tensions and creates incredibly dangerous situations.
Buttonstc, I believe you’re correct on who will receive the take-down. No one in higher ranks will be put on the rack to be stretched.
This is a major SNAFU. At the cost of those who stood to gain nothing, but invest the most for the people in need. It makes no sense. It has happened before. It will happen again. There’s no instructions for fighting wars anymore.

jaytkay's avatar

Yeah, I don’t get it. The hospital site was well known.

I don’t believe the US could accidentally hit it.

On the other hand, I can’t conceive of any rationale for intentionally hitting it.

It’s weird.

rojo's avatar

I think we hit what we aimed at. We just aimed at the wrong thing. Last I heard in many cases they depend on Spotters on the ground and in this case the guys responsible did not have eyes on the target but depended upon second hand information and did not actually have eyes on the target.

rojo's avatar

Also, I believe that many times we are fed bullshit and in a patriotic fever choose not to question it. Here is an article on the actual success rate of the Patriot Missle. It was originally claimed to have a 95% success rate, turns out it was more like 40% and possibly as low as 9%. Makes me wonder about the rest of our arsenal.

zenvelo's avatar

It is the same surgical strike as performed on the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. In this case, someone told the US Command that there were bad guys in the building.

ibstubro's avatar

I, too, wonder about the amount of propaganda involved in determining the accuracy of ‘surgical strikes’, @rojo. Seems like one side is always screaming scores of innocents killed while the other side is claiming a handful of dead, including top enemy officials.

Honestly, I have to suspect some Russian involvement in this, given the timing and nature of the disaster.

zenvelo's avatar

@msh @ibstubro The hospital is was in Afghanistan, nowhere near the Russian activity in Syria.

rojo's avatar

One point to ponder; From what news reports we have it appears the Russians have not hit the wrong target yet. I don’t see reports of civilian casualties or whining about wedding parties being targeted. They must have better equipment and better training. Yes, that must be it. It is the only logical answer.

jaytkay's avatar

@rojo Sadly the Russians are in on the action, too.

The Toronto Star – 5 October 2015 - Russia is being blamed for an airstrike on a hospital in the northeastern Syrian city of Hama, continuing a pattern of attacks begun by the regime of Bashar Assad.

While Russia maintains it is striking Islamic State (IS) targets in the country, the hospital that was hit Friday was more than 70 kilometres from the nearest IS-supporting region.

rojo's avatar

@jaytkay Sorry, that cannot be true. It did not appear in any of our US media. Take a look at this page of relevant stories. Only Toronto mentions them hitting the hospital.

Cruiser's avatar

Our ability to bomb with pinpoint accuracy is not what is in question here. Who and why this bombing of the hospital is what is fuzzy. Fuzzy reporting on what is or has actually happened in theaters of military conflict is more the norm and this is no exception. What stands out here is the lack of uproar from the Afghan leaders.

I am reading that the Taliban took over the city of Kunduz recently and it was the first time in over a decade that the Taliban were successful at doing this. So US lead Afghan forces were able to take back most of the city. But a Taliban push back put these forces under heavy enemy fire in and around that hospital and it was allegedly US Special Forces that called called in the air strikes to save their collective asses. Supposedly a lot of senior Taliban leaders were killed in the strikes so why only Doctors Without Borders is upset over the deaths of their Dr.s and patients.

Jaxk's avatar

@rojo – From the article referenced in the question:

“Physicians for Human Rights, an advocacy group, said it had confirmed that Russian airstrikes had damaged three medical facilities in Syria.

“With these actions, Russia is damaging hospitals, putting patients and medical staff at risk, and depriving civilians of lifesaving access to health care,” the group said in a statement.”

We tend to criticize ourselves more than anybody else which is why you hear about our mistakes much more often. When you are blowing shit up, from miles away, collateral damage is going to happen. Where are the calls for Russia to submit to a human rights investigation from the UN. Anytime you go into a war zone, you’re taking a risk.

rojo's avatar

BwaaaaHaaaaHaaaa!!!! Come on @Jaxk! you know if it ain’t on Fox it didn’t happen. What you are quoting from is an obvious case of Canadian Propaganda; mis-information put out by the CSIS to stain the Russian reputation!

stanleybmanly's avatar

This sort of thing is inevitable. Jeb Bush got it right with “stuff happens”, and if anything, perhaps the practice of allowing Iraqi units to call in the coordinates for air strikes will be modified.

Darth_Algar's avatar


We can condemn the Russian attacks all we want. They’re not likely going to give much of a shit about the opinions of Americans though. Our own government however, will, presumably, listen if enough Americans raise enough of a stink. One should be especially critical of one’s own government as A: that government represents you and B: you can actually affect some change with that government (much more so than with a government that isn’t beholden to you).

JLeslie's avatar

I thought possibly there is information the public just isn’t aware of. That the government was willing to accept the collateral damage for what they thought was a greater good. I think I just have a hard time wrapping my brain around such a huge mistake if they really had no idea they were bombing the medical facility.

zenvelo's avatar

@stanleybmanly Iraqi troops do not call in any air strikes in Afghanistan.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Apologies. Afghan troops, and I heard yesterday that the report of them calling down the attack was also in error. Also, the hospital was chewed up by a single KC130 gunship.

ibstubro's avatar

@zenvelo I meant probable Russian involvement in providing the misinformation that caused the hospital bombing.
Along the lines of @rojo “I think we hit what we aimed at. We just aimed at the wrong thing. Last I heard in many cases they depend on Spotters on the ground and in this case the guys responsible did not have eyes on the target but depended upon second hand information and did not actually have eyes on the target.”
Russia certainly has enough presence in Afghanistan to be suspect in any misinformation at this particular time. It’s am amazing embarrassment for the US and the perfect distraction for what Russia is doing in Syria. I suspect that Putin is getting to be a master at manipulating the Western 24-hour news cycle.

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