US commanders in Afghanistan held accountable for failures
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Last Updated: Friday, February 05, 2010, 23:43
Washington: The US military has reprimanded an unusually large number of commanders for battlefield failures in Afghanistan in recent weeks, reflecting a new push by the Pentagon to hold top officers responsible for major incidents in which soldiers are killed or wounded.

As many as five battlefield commanders have received letters of reprimand in the past month or have been the subject of an investigation by a general who recommended disciplinary action, Washington Post reported on Friday.

A sixth commander received a less-severe formal letter of admonishment. None of the investigations or letters of reprimand has been released publicly as the US military does not release figures on disciplinary actions taken against field commanders, the report said.

The paper letters of reprimand or other disciplinary action have been recommended for officers involved in three ambushes in which US troops battled Taliban forces in remote villages in 2008 and 2009.

Such administrative actions, a departure for the US military, can scuttle chances for promotion and end a career if they are made part of an officer's permanent personnel file, the Post reported.

Disciplinary action has been more common in cases in which US troops have injured or killed civilians.

The reprimands come amid growing political pressure from American lawmakers who have pushed the military to assign greater accountability for incidents in which large numbers of US troops are killed or wounded.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, February 05, 2010, 23:43

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