Controversial Army Intelligence System Was Down During Hospital Attack

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA). (Photo: Defense Media Network).
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA). (Photo: Defense Media Network).

By Ken Dilanian, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A member of Congress who has been in touch with military whistleblowers says the U.S. Army’s $5 billion intelligence network wasn’t working in Afghanistan during the recent American air attack on a hospital.

The Distributed Common Ground System is a network of computers and sensors designed to knit together disparate strands of intelligence and provide commanders battlefield awareness. It has been criticized for years as ineffective.

Rep. Duncan Hunter wrote Tuesday to Defence Secretary Ash Carter that significant elements of the system were off line in Afghanistan when U.S. commanders approved an air strike Oct. 3 that killed 22 staff, patients and others at a Doctors without Borders hospital in Kunduz. Officials called the strike a mistake.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.