Monday, July 28, 2008

This is Seriously Effed Up

The British are bringing manslaughter charges against one of their soldiers for giving one of our pilots the wrong coordinates, resulting in some Brits instead of enemies being hit by our pilot.

Can we guess what one result will be? Strategypage can:

By holding pilots and ground controllers criminally liable for mistakes made in combat, there will be less incentive for anyone to do either job. It's somewhat easier for pilots these days, as the latest systems take the GPS coordinates in digital form, from the guy on the ground, and enter them into the GPS guided bomb.

Ya think?

Friendly fire is so rare that it is almost laughable that anyone would prosecute a case like this. We should be celebrating and not filing charges!

But there will never be a trial over dead soldiers or civilians who might have lived one day in the future but for the fact that trials today persuaded capable individuals to refuse to join the military and volunteer for the job of forward air controller.

Or maybe a soldier will decline to call for fire because he just doesn't think the troops on the ground in contact are in enough danger to risk a criminal charge for making a mistake.

Or maybe after double- and triple-checking the coordinates, it will be too late to call the fire to save the friendly troops.