Sep 14, 2009

Pentagon sent help, but 'oh yeah, it was late"

Attacked Troops Did Get Help, Pentagon Says

By Kathy Adams
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot
September 13, 2009

Troops requested and were given air support and indirect fire during an insurgent attack in Kunar province in Afghanistan last week that left nine Afghans and four U.S. troops dead, a spokeswoman for the International Security Assistance Force said Saturday.

Among those killed Tuesday was 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, a 25-year-old Chesapeake native.

A McClatchy News Service reporter embedded with the ambushed Marines had reported that troops called for help several times but were denied by U.S. commanders, who cited rules aimed at avoiding civilian casualties. The troops were not near a village.

"The tactical directive does not preclude any fires for self defense," said ISAF spokeswoman Sam Truelove, a lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy, in an e-mail Saturday. She declined to provide details pending the outcome of an investigation into the incident. U.N.-mandated ISAF is under NATO's leadership.

The Pentagon has denied help was withheld from the ambushed troops. It just took "some time" for aid to arrive, spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

So it took 'multiple hours" to send helo support ? And it took multiple hours to permit artillery support? This sort of micro-management is the WRONG way to run a war.

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