The Battle Of Operational And Intelligence Failures

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attle of Wanat In 2008, U.S. forces near the village of Wanat in Nuristan province, Afghanistan were almost overrun during an enemy attack. The attack became known as the Battle of Wanat and resulted in nine soldiers killed and 27 wounded (United States Army Combined Arms Center, 2008). In this paper, a battle analysis review will highlight the circumstances surrounding the battle, and the operational and intelligence failures attributed to the losses in life. A review will highlight what aspects the enemy exploited to give them the upper hand against American forces. Additionally, an evaluation will see what different outcomes would occur if certain factors changed. The Battle In mid-June 2008, a platoon-sized element from the…show more content…
Multiple simultaneous complex attacks destroyed vital friendly crew-served and indirect fire weapons systems during the initial attack. Enemy forces then started to advance on the platoon’s defensive positions. One of the main friendly defensive positions was observation post (OP) “Topside” which became the main battleground where half of U.S. casualties occurred (Steeb, 2011). Enemy fighters reached up to 10km from the OP before being fought back. Over the next nine hours, enemy forces continued to attack the platoon as distress radio requested assistance. Air support and fire support missions responded and were able to stall enemy advances. Additionally, reinforcements moved from nearby bases to augment the besieged platoon. Continued air support caused enemy forces to call off the attack and retreat. Shortly after the battle, the 173rd abandoned Wanat and future plans for the new base were canceled (Steeb, 2011). Terrain Located in northeastern Afghanistan, Wanat is one of the most rugged deployment areas near the Hindu Kush Mountains. These severely restricting terrain features consist entirely of steep mountains and narrow isolated valleys. Due to its isolation, enemy forces often had the upper hand in being able to move undetected (United States Army Combined Arms Center, 2008). The ability for enemy forces to mass forces undetected played a critical role in the battle. Enemy exploitation of terrain and miss utilization in base
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