Hoover Institution senior fellow Victor Davis Hanson said Friday that America’s botched drone strike that killed seven civilians and no terrorists was “a disaster” and not just a “nonsuccess.”
U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Kenneth McKenzie announced Friday that the U.S. drone strike in Kabul killed multiple civilians, including children, but not members of the ISIS-K terrorist group.”Unfortunately, I have empathy for [McKenzie],” Hanson told Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”(RELATED: CENTCOM Says It’s ‘Unclear What May Have Happened’ In Kabul Drone Strike That Reportedly Killed Civilians)
“But he didn’t clear it up. He said it wasn’t a success. It’s more than that. It was a disaster. We killed innocent people … That’s not a success. It’s something much worse,” Hanson continued, questioning McKenzie’s statement that the strike was not induced by Taliban-supplied information.
“We don’t know that; we’re not on the ground,” he said.
The author argued that America has returned to “the mentality of Vietnam,” where government officials are “not telling us the truth and they don’t feel upset about it.” Hanson said it is “an insult to the people who died” to call the drone strike “a nonsuccess,” “all of these bureaucratese terminologies” just to make “a disaster” appear “successful.
Hanson said the fact that Americans remain in Afghanistan will continue to provide the Taliban with “leverage … They know that we’re in a period of crisis and our government is not telling the truth and that’s tragic.” (RELATED: ANALYSIS: Biden Is Playing The Blame Game, But His Culpability In Afghanistan Stretches Over A Decade)
The academic noted that the U.S. has “lost deterrence” in Afghanistan and around the world, from both a tactical and strategic viewpoint. “Unfortunately, I wish this was the end but I’m afraid it’s the beginning of something really bad.”
The Pentagon initially boasted that the drone strike killed at least one ISIS-K member with a vehicle carrying explosives. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley declared it to be a “righteous strike” on Sept. 1. However, reports soon contradicted the official line and suggested civilians had in fact been hit and killed.