The commander of an army unit that lured innocent Afghan civilians to their deaths and then took horrific pictures has been cleared of responsibility for the atrocities.
Colonel Harry D Tunnell, the commander of 5th Stryker Combat Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, was criticised in a report for defying the Army’s established counter insurgency role in favour of a more 'search and destroy' type strategy.
The report stopped short of blaming the reportedly 'gung-ho' Tunnell for the appalling actions of those under his command, saying there was no 'causal relationship' between his aggressive leadership style and the killings.
As a result of the investigation, Lieutenant General Curtis Scaparrotti recommended that Tunnell receive a letter of admonition.
While he remains in the Army, the letter could hamper his future carer path.
In the report, generals who Tunnell had served under while in Afghanistan said he was constantly arguing with his superiors over the doctrine of counterinsurgency or COIN employed in Afghanistan.
The strategy, under which U.S. and Nato forces attempted to undermine the insurgency by gaining the loyalty of Afghans, ran counter to Tunnell's old-fashioned 'counter-guerrilla' strategy, where he instructed his soldiers to concentrate on engaging and destroying the enemy.