Essay on Running Estimates and the Battle of Wanat
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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…show more content…
The site selected for the combat outpost at Wanat was adjacent to the village's houses, mosque, bazaar, and hotel, and was near the local District Center and Afghan National police station. The site selected was on a plateau where two valleys met and was surrounded by mountains and low ground, resulting in extensive dead space an area that cannot be visually observed around the position. The Battalion's plan to realign within the Wygal Valley and establish a combat outpost at Wanat was a two-part operation called Operation Rock Move. The Concept of Operations covered a 3-day period from July 8-10, 2008, and addressed the simultaneous disestablishment of combat outpost Bella and the initial movement to and occupation of the site at Wanat, and included those assets external to the Battalion required to conduct the operation. The Battalion wanted to disestablish combat outpost Bella because Bella could only be reinforced/resupplied by air and was not associated with any local governance, Afghan National Security Forces, or population center.
Characteristics of AO.
The Waigal Valley and particularly the location of the Wanat Vehicle Patrol Base (VPB) was in sharp, rugged terrain. Therefore, location of any kind of combat outpost was dangerous to the viewpoint of force