WASHINGTON – A Pentagon investigation into a 2015 airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan found that the failures that led to the disaster did not amount to “a war crime” because they were not intentional, Army Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, said Friday.

The Pentagon concluded that 16 service members were involved in the attack, though it declined to name them. The personnel involved did not know they were striking a medical facility, Votel said, and have been disciplined. Their punishments ranged from letters of reprimand to formal counseling.

Letters of reprimand are typically given for a variety of reasons, and depending on their severity, can have varying effects on that person’s career. For enlisted personnel, these punishments would likely not be career ending. For officers, they would have more severe repercussions.

Five service members, including a general officer, were removed from Afghanistan. None of the 16 service members have faced court martial.

“They were trying to do the right thing. They were trying to support our Afghan partners,” Votel said. “Unfortunately, they made a wrong judgment in this particular case and ended up targeting this Doctors Without Borders facility.”

John Sifton, Asia policy director of Human Rights Watch, called the punishments an “insult to the dead.”

“The Pentagon public affairs office can try to spin ‘counseling’ and ‘letters of reprimand’ as devastating and career-ending for implicated personnel,” Sifton said. “But the MSF attack ended people’s very lives, and devastated the families and survivors of those who were killed.”

The Oct. 3, 2015, bombardment, carried out by an AC-130U gunship, resulted in the deaths of at least 30 people, including hospital staff and patients.

According to investigation documents released Friday, the attack on the the Doctors without Borders hospital was the final event in a breakdown of communication between a number of units on the ground and in the sky. The failures compounded, resulting in the misidentification of the hospital as a Taliban command center.

The incident, categorized by Votel as a “tragedy,” provides a glimpse into the potential pitfalls of how the United States now fights its wars abroad.

It came last fall as Afghan forces, supported by U.S. Army Special Forces and U.S. airstrikes, fought into Kunduz in the days after the Taliban unexpectedly seized the large northern Afghan city. The Afghan forces attempted to raid what they believed to be a Taliban command center.

This model of U.S. forces supporting local counterparts, backed by American air power, has become the norm in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan as the United States has backed away from participating in any outright large scale combat operations in the wake of its long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, the Pentagon has increasingly relied on Special Operations forces and drones to further its national security interests.