Former Obama Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen said Sunday that there needs to be “accountability” for the bungled drone strike in Kabul that left as many as ten civilians dead.
Mullen appeared on ABC’s “This Week” after the head of U.S. Central Command Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. announced as many as ten civilians died in the drone strike on Aug. 29 and it is unlikely that any members of ISIS-K were killed, Fox News reported. A Pentagon investigation confirmed that the drone strike killed an innocent family among others, not ISIS-K fighters.
Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen tells @MarthaRaddatz that Gen. Kenneth McKenzie’s acknowledgement that the Aug. 29 drone strike near the Kabul airport was “a mistake” was the correct response. https://t.co/2n5suvGtED pic.twitter.com/I8JfgXyIZP
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) September 19, 2021
Mullen was asked if there should be accountability for the drone strike. “Absolutely. I think there should. This was obviously an incredibly complex, fast-moving situation. We lost those 13 military members a couple of days before that,” Mullen responded. “There was clear intelligence that additional strikes were on the way, so it was in that environment in which this strike actually took place.” (RELATED: REPORT: Final US Drone Strike In Afghanistan Killed Aid Worker And Family, Not ISIS Fighters)
Mullen called the strike a “tragic, tragic mistake” and said McKenzie was right in apologizing. He also noted that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will conduct a review that he hopes will result in some accountability within the military.
Mullen was also asked if there needs to be accountability for the Biden administration’s Afghanistan withdrawal that led to the death of 13 U.S. service members. “I also think there should be accountability there as well,” Mullen said, according to Fox News. “I hope there is.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley made several false statements about the drone strike during a press conference on Sept. 1. He claimed that the vehicle in question met U.S. engagement criteria, at least one of the fatalities was an ISIS member, and U.S. forces applied the “same level of rigor” during the strike as they did with others. Each of these claims was proven false.