The Pentagon is launching an investigation into a video that seemed to show an American soldier firing his gun into an Afghanistan truck.
The 3-minute, 9-second video in question showed American troops wearing uniforms, which suggested they were part of U.S. special operations. Twenty seconds into the footage, a military armored vehicle could be seen approaching a truck. A soldier is seen firing a military-style shotgun into the driver-side window of the truck, shattering the glass in the process.
"The amateur video posted on a public website gives us serious concern. The video in question is not official, not authorized and does not represent the professionalism of the service members of U.S. Central Command," U.S. Central Command told Politico in a statement.
He added, "We are conducting an investigation into this video, and will take appropriate actions as a result of this investigation."
Other officials emphasized that the video should certainly be concerning.
"I have reviewed the video and I am disappointed and also concerned that the American people, our Coalition partners, the Afghan government, and the Afghan people will believe that American service members are callous and indifferent to the horrors of war or the suffering of innocent people trapped in conflict." Army Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of Central Command, explained in a statement on Wednesday. "I can assure you that this video does not represent the professionalism or humanity of the men and women of U.S. Central Command. We reject the unprofessional and callous message this video conveys."
Perceptions that the American military has been callous toward Afghanistan civilians have long plagued the armed forces. In 2010, WikiLeaks famously published more than 90,000 documents about the Afghanistan War that, among other things, discussed Afghanistan civilian deaths that had resulted from the actions of the American military.
Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC. MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa
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