Essay on Running Estimates and the Battle of Wanat

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Running Estimates
Battle of Wanat

On July 13, 2008, Taliban fighters launched a major assault on a small U.S. Army outpost in Afghanistan, killing nine soldiers and wounding 27. The story of Wanat is more then just one small group of commanders’ mistakes; it is a window into how the war in Afghanistan went awry and how we can learn from these mistakes to better future missions and future leaders.
Combat Outpost Kahler was a small, remote outpost in northeast Afghanistan adjacent to the village of Wanat in the Nuristan Province, manned by 48 U.S soldiers and 24 Afghanistan National Army soldiers and their three U.S Marine Corp advisors. It was attacked on July 13, 2008 by a significantly larger number of Taliban insurgent forces that used stealth, camouflage, communications discipline, and rapid movement over extremely rough mountainous terrain to establish positions close to the COP’s perimeter. The insurgents used coordinated rocket propelled grenades, small arms and heavy machine gun fire, and mortar barrages to inflict heavy casualties on the outpost. Ultimately, nine U.S soldiers were killed and 27 U.S and four ANA soldiers were wounded. To understand why this battle occurred and how it could have been avoided one must understand a few other things.

AO/ Area of Interest-
In December 2007, the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In March 2008, the Division Headquarters, the Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team,…

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