Small Wars Journal

New Video of Wanat Attack from Taliban Perspective

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 5:16pm

ABC News has procured Taliban video of the 2008 attack on COP Wanat.

For background, see here, here, and here.


John McG (not verified)

Tue, 11/17/2009 - 1:50am

you guys are mixing several things up

the firt part of the video shows the enemy attack on the platoon base at Wanat on 13 July 2008. It is clearly Wanat. The HMMWV with the tarp hanging over it next to the C shaped building was the PLT/CO CP. The fire to the right of the CP was the burning TOW HMMWV. The fire to the left was the Wanat bazaar, which was an enemy stronghold. Apparently it was set on fire by enemy RPG overshots from the right. Behind the bazaar (ie to the left) was the OP where 8 of the 9 KIAs were killed. The Wanat position was not supposed to be abandoned when it was set up but it was several days after the battle.

At the end of the video it shows the enemy touring the Bella outpost. This place was 6 or 7 miles north of Wanat. Wanat had replaced it. The supplies, etc. were left behind for the local people. The Wanat position, once completely set up, would have looked a lot like Bella only it would have had a bigger area. The Wanat site was actually probably the best place for a base in the whole Waygal valley because it was flat and open. The people of the valley used to use that area as a meeting place (kind of like a county fairgrounds).

The base in Kamdesh was attacked a month ago before it was to be evacuated. Its layout was very similar to Bella's. If you go on youtube there is a video tour of it- search for Camp Keating. But that is not what is shown on this video.

Niel (not verified)

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 10:59pm


You're thinking of COP Keating, which happened last month, not COP Wanat, which happened in 2008. For more info, click the links.

Additionally, the COP should've been destroyed. At the very least, the food should have been destroyed. Maybe leave only the pork products.

It was my understanding that the COP was already scheduled to be abandoned a few days after the attack took place. I'm told this was part of the implementation of the strategy to move away from unpopulated areas.

Not sure why there weren't more (any?) OPs up in the hills....perhaps there were and they were overrun. Putting a COP/ FOB in low ground surrounded by high ground you know to be populated by the enemy seems counter-productive, to say the least.

We ought to look at reviving the local militia forces (which I think we're looking at) and placing advisor teams with them or establishing a CAP program to partner with them in smaller villages while our combat units (and those of the ANA) go out and kill these turds before they attack.


Fri, 11/13/2009 - 7:33pm

I realize that most of the casualties occurred at the OP, but it is surprising to see the condition of the COP. The sandbags look untouched, the aid station looks untouched, and their food storage looked unscathed. Was there a rapid resupply and repair of this COP before it was abandoned?