Here’s a question I would like a reporter to ask: “WHO authorized our troops and friendlies to be packed asshole-to-belly-button at an airport gate KNOWING a terrorist suicide attack was pending?”
A few things I would like to get straight from the get-go:
- My heart honestly does go out the the families to the peacekeepers and innocent people killed in the latest Islamist terrorist attack at HKIA (Hamid Karzai International Airport) in Kabul. Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace.
- In a world of divisions, corps and field armies, when I say small unit in the context of this article, I mean company and/or battalion.
- None of us in the general public as of yet has the specifics of the attack at HKIA. Nonetheless, I do have at least some experience in the security of vital national assets whose loss would be deemed as a grave threat to national security.
With the numbers still fluctuating, the word is that 11 Marines, one Navy corpsman, and one Army soldier were killed, and upwards of 20 servicemen were wounded.
As of Aug. 27th, Al-Jazeera is reporting “at least” 175 Afghans killed, and wounding “about” 120 others. That’s an awful lot of people concentrated in one small area.
I’ll admit I’m going off of little more than the image of the fireball captured on film, but I’ll estimate that this particular Jihadist bomber was armed with at least a full-sized truck or SUV packed with upwards of one ton of explosives.
This was no mere suicide vest with a guy on a motorcycle.
According to the medical doctors at the Society of Critical Care Medicine (table 7-2), a full-sized passenger car (SUV) can carry up to 1,180 kgs (2,601 lbs) of explosives.
As cited by the same, the lethal blast range is 80 meters (262 ft), and a serious injury range of 840 meters (2759 ft).
In terms most of us can contrast that distance in our minds, if you’re within a little less than half a football field’s worth of the center of the blast, you’ll be killed.
If you’re within a slightly less than five football fields from the center of the blast, you’ll be seriously injured.
Granted, there are a number of variables I simply can’t take into account as of this moment, such as buildings or military cargo trucks blocking the effects of the blast and/or if the IED was packed with ball bearings, nails, etc.
Imagine looking down on an area with a fence bisecting an area, but there is one gated portal. Or course, that transit point is where the vast majority of people are going to be.
Of course, in a perfect world, those distances would be factored into any military-ran non-combatant (civilian) evacuation operation. Any small unit leader would essentially adhere to keeping your number of Marines actually in the kill zone at a minimum, if any at all.
And of course, certain rules are thrown out the window when you’re in a combat zone.
But here’s what kind of screamed at me from watching all this, especially with the US State Department already warning the world that a terrorist attack was imminent at three of the HKIA gates… who in the hell threw not just the rule book, but all common sense out the window?
I’d like to think that the Marine company commanders and the battalion commander kept their heads and were proactive to the threat(s). In fact, I’m sure of it.
I also fully understand that the situation on the ground was chaotic, fluid and volatile. But it’s professional that fix situations that are chaotic, fluid and volatile.
Should I be willing to wager that someone WAY above the company commanders and the battalion commander level ORDERED them to jam-pack as many humans as possible into a vulnerable area just to “speed things up”, even though everyone and their brother knew damn good and well that a terrorist attack was imminent?
Yeah, I’ll take that bet.