Unfriendly Fire

Unfriendly Fire

The potential for unintended assault from an ally's gun is a fact of life on the battlefield. But sometimes tragedy is avoidable. Last week a British inquest decided that two U.S. pilots had acted with reckless indifference to the rules of combat when they inadvertently killed nine English soldiers during the gulf war. The American officers, the jury determined, had failed to verify map coordinates for their targets before opening fire on vehicles they believed were Iraqi. The British government indicated it would not press charges against the pilots.

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