Wanat (VIII): An Army Report Finds a Major COIN Failure - Tom Ricks, Best Defense at Foreign Policy.
The Army's study of what happened in the Wanat battle a year ago in eastern Afghanistan is even harder on senior U.S. military commanders than I was in my series on it back in February, saying that they didn't understand counterinsurgency doctrine and also that some of their statements about the fight were misleading at best.
The report, which is still in draft form, contradicts a few aspects of the accounts provided by some of the senior officers involved, implicitly raising integrity questions. That's especially significant because two officials at Fort Leavenworth have told me that the Army inspector general's office is investigating how the Wanat incident was reported and reviewed. I also hear that congressional interest in the situation is growing.
The report, which has not been released and was written for the Army's Combat Studies Institute by military historian Douglas Cubbison, finds multiple failures by the battalion and brigade commanders involved...
... The report also is in awe of the bravery and persistence of the 42 soldiers and 3 Marines who fought at Wanat, as I am. I knew that some continued to fight after being hit several times. But I didn't know that one continued to pass ammunition even when he was mortally wounded.
I also think the Army deserves praise for having the honesty to have this report done. I am told that the final version will be released soon. Let's hope it isn't thrown out the back door at 5 pm on a Friday afternoon in August.
Much more at Best Defense.