Skip to comments.Did bad decisions in DC kill troops on the ground in Afghanistan?
Posted on 06/10/2014 9:44:29 AM PDT by Lacey
If we had a commander-in-chief who had served in the military, the following story would mean more than just a headline. According to a report by NBCnews.com, five U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan may have been the victims of a friendly-fire incident.The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said five of its servicemen had died Monday during a security operation in southern Afghanistan when their unit came in contact with enemy forces. Tragically, there is the possibility that fratricide may have been involved, ISAF said in a statement. The incident is under investigation.
The soldiers were members of U.S. special forces working with the Afghan military and were conducting security sweeps on polling sites in advance of this weekends run-off for the Afghan presidential election when they came under ferocious attack from Taliban forces. Yes, the same Taliban forces who just got back their five senior leaders.
When the Special Forces group came under attack, they called in for close air support. The Americans called in an airstrike amid fierce fighting and, according to U.S. officials, the B-1 Stealth Bomber strike somehow went terribly awry.
I know, youre all saying, so what West?
Here is the so what. I spent my 22-year career in the Army as a Field Artillery Officer assigned to infantry units as a Fire Support Officer, meaning I coordinated mortar, artillery, rocket, attack helicopter, and close air support for ground maneuver operations.
I can testify that a B-1 stealth bomber is not the preferred weapon of choice for close air support basically because of the circular error probable (CEP) considerations for the munitions it drops. Close air support is better done with an aerial weapons platform that can come in low over the shoulder of the friendly forces, and with the assistance of colored smoke, direct its munitions directly on the enemy.
Such is the mission of the A-10 Warthog aircraft, the preeminent weapon of choice for close air support, or an AV-8B Harrier, used by the U.S. Marine Corps.
But if you recall, it was U.S. Secretary of Defense Hagel who announced that not only would he take the Army to pre-World War II levels, he would also retire the A-10 aircraft. (Honestly, I prefer the A-10 rather than waiting for the development of the F-35 system. We could use service life extension programs (SLEP) to maintain this great close air attack platform).
Instead, we have five dead U.S. Special Operators because they did not have the appropriate close air support tool. This is why having more veterans of this current battlefield in office is important. If I were Secretary of Defense, I would transfer all A-10s to the U.S. Army where they can be better utilized and appreciated.
As well, I would develop more AC-130 Specter gunships which would be the Special Operations close air support weapon of choice and immediately available. We witnessed the results of an inappropriate response to a request for AC-130 gunship support during the Battle of Mogadishu during the Clinton administration.
My sincere condolences go out to the families of these fallen warriors. This did not have to happen, and it would not have if we had lions leading lions not lambs.
Being Spec Ops is getting more and more dangerous it seems under Obama.
Probably using a JDAM and the target coordintes were wrong. Or maybe one of the tools bam bam gave them was something to jam the weapons targeting.
I’m now skeptical of anything put out my this Administration, and although I might expect a friendly fire accidet from regular troops...I am not so quick to believe that is what happened with our special forces.
No one is perfect, however I will wait until the whole debacle is clearly investigated....and the truth is fully exposed.
Benghazi has taught me you can’t believe this bunch.
I too thought it was strange to characterize a B-1 mission as “close air support”- so wth
As far as I know the Secretary of the Air Force is a split-tail. I don’t wish to be unfair, but I suspect she is likely unqualified to run a lemonade stand.
God, I wish I was less bitter about this circus of ass-clowns but I saw too many good men die for too many years.
Taliban Mullah in Chief Hussein Obama has chosen Secretary of Defending the Taliban Hagel to continue to make Grand Bargains with Gitmo Prisoners so that Gitmo can be closed on the last day that all US Military Personnel finally abandon Afghanistan to the Taliban.
We have lions led by braying jackasses, not lambs.
Lambs wouldn’t act as if getting people killed is a “smart thing”.
I don't think so.
Obama, Carter....they are horrible commanders. troop morale suffers, they don’t have good leaders, more accidents happen.
Obama is now losing Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Lybia, Ukraine, Cuba
America is on the run, thx to obummer
And why not Black Hawks? Apaches?
“they came under ferocious attack from Taliban forces”
this is sickening
does not make sense
maybe the sf were taken as hostages
Didn’t Jenjiss John say we weren’t fighting in Afghanistan anymore?
Bad decisions in Washington DC have been killing troops on the ground for decades.
Our panel of self-styled experts came to the same conclusion, albeit with limited information. Someone, probably the troops on the ground, mistakenly input own location instead of enemy location and the JDAM impacted exactly where it was told to go.
Why the hell are Americans still in Afghanistan? What is our goal there?
Good catch. It’s either a B-1 ‘Lancer’ or a B-2 ‘Spirit’ semi-stealth (and maybe not even semi-stealth based upon advances in technology). Guess we’ll see in the next real conflict.
Black Hawks are not a CAS platform. The apache, while awesome, are much more vulnerable and slower than an A10
The use of a B1 in a CAP role is just excessive and strange. A good CAS platform needs to be able to loiter, have precise weapons, and able to take serious damage. The B1 is a supersonic bombing platform built to deliver nukes overseas.
The Douglas Skyraider is a great example. In an age of jets and fast movers, it was a godsend to troops in Vietnam. The A10 was perfect in fillings its very large shoes. It is both physically and psychologically devastating thanks to the GAU weapon system. It might not be pretty or fast but it can take a hell of a beating. Nothing... I repeat... nothing can replace it. It was purpose built for this role and there is no multirole wizbang super duper stealth uber jet that can come close to replacing it. CAS requires a purpose built aircraft and it will likely be brought back in once the morons making these decisions realize their fancy crap simply wont cut it.
I don’t know the circumstances surrounding the CAS request, but it may be that the SOF request was urgent and the B1 was in close enough proximity vs. other air assets?
Tough call and I bet the aircrew feels like $hit right now...
RIP soldiers and condolences to the families of the fallen.
don’t believe everything you read -
As a Korean war (52-53)FO and then Battery CO of 105 battery I completely concur. He is right on.
B-1 was named in first report published
The question is how many troops died because of bad decesions in D.C.?
No stealth about it. Just ignorance on the part of the writer.
It’s like Clips/Mags, Auto/Semi-Auto.
No doubt the writer is FNG under 25.