Retired U.S. Air Force veteran Darin Selnick says that one of the biggest mistakes the commercial airliners and other officials made leading up to the shootdown of the Malaysian jet in Ukraine was not treating the region like a war zone.
"The problem was, although it looked like a war zone and acted like a war zone, it wasn't being treated as a war zone," Selnick told Ed Berliner on "MidPoint" on Newsmax TV.
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"If it had been treated as a war zone, it would've been a 'no fly zone,' and no one would've been over there," he added.
The other mistake is that most officials assumed that the "rebel separatists" only had access to "low-level type weaponry," Selnick said.
However, the retired Air Force captain said that the weapon used "looks like it's an FA-11 service air missile system."
"These are not cheap things to get, and you would have to get it from Russia," he added.
Selnick said that the other thing to take into account is that the Russian-backed Ukrainian rebels are not a "professional army."
He explained that neither the United States or the Russian military would make a mistake like this.
"Our military is much more concerned about making accurate calls than other militaries are," the former appointee at the Department of Veterans' Affairs under former President George W. Bush said, adding that they also seemed to lack the radar technology that would have helped them properly identify what kind of plane it was.
In addition, "what it indicates is that they're trigger-happy — they're not going to be thoughtful in making decisions to make sure it's not a commercial airline."
"In that mindset, you're much more likely to shoot down a commercial airliner because you're wanting to get a kill," he explained.
"You're wanting to make yourselves look good, and you're not concerned about consequences, and you're not concerned about accountability in these actions, unlike the U.S. military — where we're always worried about these things," he added.
Selnick explained that even Russia would not have made this type of mistake.
"If you have the core Russian military, you would probably see a pretty disciplined military like the United States," he said.
"The rules of engagement are what's key — but when you have separatists . . . separatists are not following the same rules . . . they don't care about international norms, and they're going to shoot first and ask questions later."
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