Last year I wrote a couple of posts concerning the disastrous engagements that had occurred in Nuristan at Wanat and a few other places. The picture above is the Special Forces camp at Plei Djereng on the border with Laos. a lot bigger thanWanat but you get the idea.. This patrol base camp would have had double apron barbed wire around it, many .30 caliber and .50 caliber M-2 machine guns, 81mm and 4.2 inch mortars, fougasse, mines. Bu Dop Camp had a 105mm howitzer that they had traded for or stolen. Ah, the good old days.
At the risk of further endangering the Green Berets from the jealousy of line officers, I would say that any good SF sergeant could have done a much better job of planning this than all these captains, majors and colonels.
After looking at the available evidence I reached the conclusion that the planning for the creation and support of these platoon sized outposts had been incompetent. The posts were poorly situated for defense. Fire support for defense was inadequate and the positions themselves were not well built, not enough barbed wire, inadequate shelters and fighting positions.
Ridiculous. At the risk of succumbing to a fit of nostalgia, I will say that we used to do this a lot better.
After a long set of investigations, the military evidently agrees and officers at company, battalion and brigade levels of command face punishment in the form of letters of reprimand, etc. In the military such letters are normally career enders.
How did such a display of incompetence come to pass?
Too much grad school, not enough emphasis from the high command of the armed forces on basic skills as a determinant of career progress for officers. pl