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COP Keating Report Complete

by christian on February 5, 2010

The ISAF public affairs office said today that the coalition investigation into the Oct. 3 attack on COP Keating has been completed.

We’re pinging them for a complete copy or executive summary, but the release accompanying the announcement says the complex attack by nearly 300 Taliban against the Soldiers of B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cav suffered from a lack of intelligence fusion, apathy and poor defenses.

The report determined that commanders must continue to assess the value and vulnerabilities of each COP throughout the rugged terrain of Afghanistan, and made several recommendations to improve coalition tactics. The investigation concluded that critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets which had been supporting COP Keating had been diverted to assist ongoing intense combat operations in other areas, that intelligence assessments had become desensitized to reports of massing enemy formations by previous reports that had proved false, and needed force protection improvements were not made because of the imminent closure of the outpost. These factors resulted in an attractive target for enemy fighters.

This seems to bolster Gates’ argument that we need more drones, but it also speaks to what our friend Andrew Lubin warned about complacency and lack of fighting spirit among some Army units in RC-East. The fact that the report indicates “intelligence assessments had become desensitized to reports of massing enemy formations by previous reports that had proved false” is truly scary. That’s full-on complacency — 100 percent — and reminds me of the makeshift signs I saw all around Camp Hurricane Point in Ramadi that said “Complacency Kills.”

View PART 2 of the interview…

Eight Soldiers were killed in the attack.

We’ll try to dig into what happened to any of the officers and NCOs responsible for the troops during this incident, but the release says:

Based on the recommendations in the investigation, General Stanley A. McChrystal took appropriate action regarding Army personnel involved. General McChrystal also issued guidance to commanders and NCOs at all levels throughout both ISAF and USFOR-A to ensure the lessons learned from the investigation findings and recommendations were incorporated into current practices to prevent or mitigate future incidents.

Anyone have any gouge on this, please zap me a note on the Tip Line…no fingerprints…

UPDATE: Yes, I have been hammering ISAF for a copy of the investigation report into the ambush at Ganjgal. Last week (1/30) I received a note from ISAF PA that indicated a redacted executive summary of the investigation would be forwarded to me by today. So far, nothing. I’m still on it, folks…

– Christian

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