At this stage of war in Afghanistan, and given the precision of US weapons, it is hard to believe that five American soldiers lost their lives to friendly fire. According to the CNN report, American soldiers that are part of a NATO force were under rocket attack from Taliban fighters. They called for an air strike and that landed on them, and not the enemy, apparently.
An investigation into the incident will ensue. What happened?
- Wrong coordinates?
- Inaccurate bomb drop?
- Enemy too close?
- Deficient surveillance support?
It would seem prudent to provide superior cover for soldiers on search and protect missions like this. The enemy should be denied the element of surprise. If NATO and US forces are not provided with overwhelming force, they shouldn’t be going on missions.
“'Friendly fire' kills five American service members in Afghanistan
By Ed Payne and Masoud Popalzai, CNN
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
More than 2,300 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan
The incident also killed an Afghan soldier
Since the Afghan war began in 2001, there have been numerous "friendly fire" fatalities
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Five American service members were killed in southern Afghanistan when a coalition jet called in to help ward off a Taliban attack mistakenly bombed them, an Afghan official said Tuesday.
The five were killed along with an Afghan soldier in Zabul province, said Ghulam Sakhi Roghliwanai, the province's police chief.
According to NATO, the troops were conducting a security operation. Such operations have been stepped up ahead of Afghanistan's presidential runoff election, which will take place Saturday.
The service members' unit came in contact with enemy forces. That's when the casualties occurred, a U.S. military official told CNN. "There is the possibility that fratricide may have been involved," he said. The incident is under investigation.”