Wanat story in Seattle Times
Friday, July 31, 2009
The Seattle Times has a piece about the ongoing controversy regarding the Battle of Wanat and if the command deserves blame for causing it.
In the days before one of the fiercest battles in America's eight-year war in Afghanistan, Army Capt. Benjamin Pry argued for more surveillance flights to help his beleaguered unit of fewer than 50 soldiers.
Since moving into a new outpost on July 8, 2008, they had struggled with shortages of water, fuel, food and heavy machinery to help defend against an enemy attack that they believed would eventually come. Lacking excavating equipment, the troops dug fortifications by scraping the rocky soil with spades and bare hands.
Then on July 12, headquarters commanders diverted drones — remotely operated planes outfitted with cameras to spot enemy movements — to another area. Pry argued so hard to undo that decision that he said he breached professional etiquette. Still, he was unsuccessful.
"We had no support from brigade, division or theater level assets at the time," Pry told Army historians in a study obtained by The Seattle Times.
I have read the 239 page draft of the report on this battle by Douglas Cubbison and will have a longer piece refuting some of his claims soon.