WASHINGTON — Newly declassified surveillance footage provides additional details about the final minutes and aftermath of a botched drone strike in Kabul in August, when the American military mistakenly killed 10 innocent people — including seven children — in a tragic blunder that punctuated the end of the 20-year war in Afghanistan.
The disclosure of the videos is the first time any footage from the strike has been seen publicly. They encompass about 25 minutes of silent video from two drones — a military official said both were MQ-9 Reapers — showing the minutes before, during and after the strike.
While the videos will continue to be scrutinized for any new details about how the episode unfolded, they show the dangers of making hair-trigger, life-or-death decisions based on imagery that can be fuzzy, hard to interpret in real time and prone to confirmation bias. The risk of error was further heightened by striking in a densely populated neighborhood.