Pentagon investigates handling of unspecified war crimes, some see 'fishing expedition'

The Pentagon in January launched a wide-ranging investigation into two major U.S. military commands to determine whether their leaders properly handled reports of unspecified war crimes by American forces.

The Pentagon Inspector General informed top military officials about the investigation in a memo dated five days after President Biden was sworn into office. The Jan. 25 memo does not mention specific war crimes nor suspected crimes; but states that U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command, both based in Tampa, Florida, are subjects of the inquiry. 

The probe will investigate how CENTCOM and SOCOM enacted programs "to reduce potential law of war violations when conducting operations," states the memo signed by Michael J. Roark, Deputy Inspector General for Evaluations. "We will also determine whether potential USCENTCOM and USSOCOM law of war violations were reported and reviewed in accordance with DoD policy."

Both commands have played a significant role in recent conflicts around the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere.  

A SOCOM spokesman, Ken McGraw, directed Just the News to the Pentagon Inspector General for questions regarding the status and scope of the investigation. The IG's office did not respond to inquiries.

Others within the military community expressed concerns about the inquiry.

"This is a fishing expedition to further drive the reputation of the military into the mud," said former CENTCOM officer Wolf Wagner, who served three tours in Iraq. "They want to re-litigate anything they thought was a war crime."
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