On December 1st, 2021, 21 organisations from the United States and around the world sent a letter to United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin urging him to account for and reckon with the civilian harm of the last twenty years and finally implement structural changes to prioritize civilian protection and accountability for civilian harm.

The Defense Department’s record of civilian harm over the past twenty years  illustrates an unacceptable failure to prioritize civilian protection in the use of lethal force; meaningfully investigate, acknowledge, and provide amends when harm occurs; and provide accountability in the event of wrongdoing, as evidenced most recently by the August 29 drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed 10 civilians. For too long, the United States has failed to live up to its legal and moral commitments to the protection of civilians, as well as its own stated policies. This needs to change.

Read the full letter here.

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