Retired Army General Mark Hertling shot down Jim Sciutto Thursday night after CNN’s chief national security correspondent suggested that the military cares less about civilian deaths now that Donald Trump is president.
“The Obama administration was famous, perhaps notorious, for how many hoops the military had to jump through to approve strikes,” Sciutto stated during a panel discussion. “And that was a headache.”
“I spent a lot of time in the Pentagon, and that was often a frustration there. On the flip side though, the reason behind that was to minimize civilian casualties. It appears they’ve been given more leeway to push the limits a bit, and increase the risk of collateral damage.”
“I’m not buying that, Don,” Hertling — who has been extremely vocal critic of President Trump — responded. “I’ve got to jump in, because having been in combat and knowing what commanders go through to get strikes, and knowing the conscience that commanders live under when they’re striking targets.
“Yeah, there may be fewer rules in terms of the processes,” he continued. “But they are still going to look very closely at collateral damage.”
“As a commander, you don’t want the death of innocents on your conscience.”