SEAL Team 6: 25 Navy SEALS Dead
August 6, 2011 by staff
If any of the men were killed in that mission today, the White House has not said (yet) in almost 10 years of war is the deadliest incident for U.S. troops for now, and these were the best of the best. I’m trying to find solace in the fact that these numbers are small compared to the terrible days of previous wars, but I’m not going to find. Cause: An RPG Taliban. A rocket-propelled grenade in the Tangi valley Wardak province, west of Kabul, hit the helicopter the coalition official said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack …
There were conflicting accounts about whether the helicopter crashed. A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said the insurgents shot down the helicopter around 11 pm on Friday, as he was starting an operation in a house where militants were gathering in the region Joye Tangi Saidabad district in eastern province. Eight militants were killed in the fighting, which continued after the helicopter crashed, Mr. Mujahid said …
Gen. Abdul Qayum Baqizoy, police chief of Wardak, said the operation began about 1 am Saturday as NATO and Afghan forces attacked a Taliban compound in the jaw-e-Zareen Mekhe people in the Tangi valley. The shooting lasted for at least two hours, the general said.
“It was the end of the operation in one of the NATO helicopters crashed,” he said. “We do not know the cause of the accident, and not know how many NATO troops were on board.”
Question to military readers: How low the helicopter must be within range of an RPG? From what I understand, 200 meters or less is optimal for an attack, but if you guess the altitude in addition to the pilot’s maneuvers to keep some of the people on board. Instead, the catastrophe. This was a lucky break when the helicopter was at an altitude above or other weapon was full? CSM considers the ominous implications:
If the helicopter was shot down, could have important implications for the war effort. The insurgents have hit the helicopter in the past, but never in large numbers. If shock is now an isolated event, is unlikely to affect significantly the direction of the war or the perception of the American public, despite the magnitude of casualties including much highly trained command. But if it marks the beginning of a trend in which insurgents use advanced anti-aircraft weapons, which could cost the air superiority of NATO …
“This technology and how the Taliban have agreed to raise the question of where and what sources were able to get that technology,” says Waliullah Rahmani, executive director of the Center for Strategic Studies in Kabul. “If the Taliban is able to obtain regular access to these technologies, which will undoubtedly have a significant effect, unfortunately, dangerous for the future of the war in Afghanistan.”
Hmmm. I wonder who would supply the Taliban with weapons like that.
Here’s the inevitable “that encourage a rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan?” Part. The answer to that depends on the answer to the question of what the CSM brought the helicopter down, I think. At least 20 members of the team of six dead. It is the biggest loss of life of the unit has ever had.
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