Lieutenant General Sami D. Said, Inspector General, U.S. Air Force

Lieutenant General Sami D. Said

Inspector General, U.S. Air Force

Sami D. Said was born in 1964. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He received additional education through the military and later received a Masters of Business Administration from Western Governors University, Salt Lake City, Utah. He is a command pilot with more than 2,200 flying hours in F-15 and F-16 craft. 

His flying experience includes Operations Northern Watch and Southern Watch. He has commanded at the wing and squadron levels. His staff and joint experience include assignments at Air Force Headquarters, International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan, with the U.S. Embassy at Kabul, and at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. Before his current assignment, he was the Deputy Inspector General of the Air Force at the Pentagon. 

In the News…

The Air Force Inspector General concluded that the August 29 drone strike that targeted and killed innocent civilians during the military withdrawal from Afghanistan did not violate any laws. Lieutenant General Sami D. Said announced his findings during a Pentagon press briefing. 

“Individuals involved in this strike interviewed during this investigation truly believed at the time that they were targeting an imminent threat to U.S. forces on HKIA,” he said. “When you go, ‘That is a suspicious person,’ every activity they take thereafter, you start seeing it through that lens.” 

Said also stated children were visible on the ground two minutes before the strike was launched, although they were not seen when the strike was executed. This was one example the Inspector General pointed to for how the context of the strike matters.

He explained that much of his report will remain classified and suggested the procedures to “mitigate the risks of confirmation bias,” and enhance “sharing of overall situational awareness during execution,” should be implemented. 


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