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Friday
Sep282012

Attack on Camp Bastion “arguably the worst day in USMC aviation history since Tet in 1968”

USMC Lance Cpl. Ethan Burk stands in front of a bullet-riddled concrete barrier scarred from the Sept. 14, 2012, night attack on Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Carrying a bullet-scarred rifle and wounded during the attack, Burk and another Marine maneuvered out of the kill zone to inform the British Army’s quick reaction force of the insurgents’ fighting position. (Photo and caption: U.S. Marine Corps; Sgt. James Mercure) The week of Sept. 11, 2012, saw the implosion of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy in the Mideast. The U.S. Consulate in Libya—technically U.S. soil—was attacked and the ambassador, two former Navy SEALs and a communications staffer were killed.

Like mushrooms after rain, protests arose at U.S. interests in North Africa and Asia. Even at locations where no one died, the property damage was extensive. What’s the taxpayer tab for that? We’ll probably never know.

By Sept. 14, we should have been on the highest alert possible when it came to our military assets.

Yet late that day, Taliban attacked Camp Bastion in Helmland Province, Afghanistan. By the time the camp was stabilized, two Marines, including the VMA-211 commanding officer, were dead. Nine other personnel had been wounded, including one contractor.

John D. Gresham, writing for Defense Media Network, called the attack “arguably the worst day in USMC aviation history since the Tet Offensive of 1968.”

In addition to the loss of lives and injuries, significant losses of aircraft occurred:

Eight irreplaceable aircraft (the AV-8B has been out of production since 1999) have been destroyed or put out of action – approximately 7 percent of the total flying USMC Harrier fleet. Worse yet, the aircraft involved were the AV-B+ variant equipped with the APG-65 radar and AAQ-28 Litening II targeting pods – the most capable in the force…the nearby Marines at Camp Freedom are now without effective fixed-wing air support.

Why have media downplayed this attack?

Obviously, the War on Terror is not over.

National media might ask President Barack Obama why, if the war is over, these damaging attacks happened.

Gresham notes, “The USMC’s response to this disaster will be a telling report card on its leadership and organizational ability.”

In Feb., 2012, rumors surfaced that Obama was (again) planning to "reach out" to the Taliban.

In July, CNS News reported that 70 percent of casualties in the 11-year Afghan War have happened “on Obama’s watch.” Since Obama took office January 20, 2009, CNS said 1,343 military personnel have died in the war. There is no count for military contractors killed there.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Sept. 28, 2012)

Related at The US Report

'War on Terror is over' quote draws parallels to Orwell

Car aflame as Panetta visits Afghanistan, talks death penalty after shootings

Killings, Taliban and the war on drugs in Afghanistan

Reader claims Afghans killing US soldiers "has been going on for years”

Related on the Web

Bullshit Bob (Michael Yon, war correspondent)

Face of Defense: Marine Recalls Camp Bastion Attack (U.S. Dept. of Defense)

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