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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Army edits its history of the deadly battle of Wanat

Of course! It must have been the 24-year-old platoon leader's fault! Nevermind the glossing over of the fact that the senior commanders, who undoubtedly were sipping coffee in the tactical operations center during the engagement, had a "weak grasp of the area's complicated politics, causing them to underestimate the hostility to a U.S. presence in Wanat." It must have been the dead platoon leader's fault!

But the history focuses mostly on the failures of lower-level commanders to patrol aggressively in the area around Wanat as they were building their defenses. It also criticizes 1st Lt. Jonathan Brostrom, a 24-year-old platoon leader, for placing a key observation point in an area that did not provide the half-dozen U.S. soldiers placed there a broad enough view to spot the enemy.

"The placement of the OP [Observation Post] is perhaps the most important factor contributing to the course of the engagement at Wanat," the report states.

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