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DOD's overhaul of U.S. combat operations “fails” to acknowledge role of collateral damage

Media Contact

Becka Bowyer

The Department of Defense released an action plan to help reduce civilian casualties during war. The 36-page plan directs broad changes at every level of military planning, doctrine, training and policy.

Paul Lushenko

Graduate Student

Paul Lushenko is a doctoral student at Cornell University and co-editor of "Drones and Global Order: Implications of Remote Warfare for International Society.” He is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and senior policy fellow at Cornell’s Tech Policy Lab.

Lushenko says

“The plan fails to acknowledge that collateral damage is often a function of policy, which relates to the 'near' or 'reasonable' certainty standard for anticipated civilian casualties during military operations. It is also unclear how structural changes across the U.S. military for broader civilian protection relate to the accountability for mistakes, which is central to the legitimacy of U.S. operations abroad.”

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