When the battle in the small village of Wanat ended, nine U.S. soldiers lay dead and 27 more were wounded. A detailed study of the attack by a military historian found that weapons failed repeatedly at a "critical moment" during the firefight on July 13, 2008, putting the outnumbered American troops at risk of being overrun by nearly 200 insurgents
A week ago, eight U.S. troops were killed at a base near Kamdesh, a town near Wanat. There's no immediate evidence of weapons failures at Kamdesh, but the circumstances were eerily similar to the Wanat battle: insurgents stormed an isolated stronghold manned by American forces stretched thin by the demands of war.Usual bafflegab from military spokesmen. So what's the rest of the story? You go alllll the way to the bottom to find this nugget from the military historian's report. Emphasis mine.
Army Col. Wayne Shanks, a military spokesman in Afghanistan, said a review of the battle at Kamdesh is under way. "It is too early to make any assumptions regarding what did or didn't work correctly," he said.
The platoon-sized unit of U.S. soldiers and about two dozen Afghan troops was shooting back with such intensity the barrels on their weapons turned white hot. The high rate of fire appears to have put a number of weapons out of commission, even though the guns are tested and built to operate in extreme conditions.
Therefore, as much as I continue to think the M4/M16 Stoner black rifle is a poodle gun, I can't say this report lowers it in my opinion. The surprise isn't that some rifles jammed, the surprise is that most of them didn't. Way to go Eugene Stoner.
Also, the US Army kicks Taliban ass if they were that outnumbered and only lost nine guys. I note that the article doesn't say how many guys the Taliban lost. More than nine, I think.