4 years ago
In Wanat Video we saw from the U.S. perspective what the Battle of Wanat looked like, especially from the air. Courtesy of the NEFA Foundation, ABC News aired a video of the battle from the perspective of the Taliban. Taliban commander Maulvi Mandibula claims to have orchestrated the attack, but there some significant propaganda in this video. He claims that the locals “tipped off” the Taliban to the location of VPB Wanat.
This makes it sound like an ad hoc operation by the Taliban. In reality, the U.S. had planned VPB Wanat for approximately one year and the Taliban began massing troops long before the fight. As to the locals tipping off the Taliban, maybe. Perhaps they did long before the attack, since it’s obvious that they began massing troops weeks and even months before the fight.
But locals also warned U.S. troops that a Taliban attack was imminent. The Taliban listened to the locals – while we did not. Finally, there is some inaccuracy in the ABC report. The estimate of 150 Taliban fighters is low, and better estimates point to 200 – 250 fighters. Take note of the specifics of the fight that can be gleaned from the video (poor choice of terrain, initiation of the fight in hours of darkness, etc.). It isn’t often that one can get as much information on a single battle as we now have on Wanat. The first video combined with this one, along with the written accounts, add much to our stable of knowledge on the conditions and choices leading up to that fateful morning. The ABC News commentary accompanying the video adds little to nothing.