17 Apr 20
“Who are easily shocked, should be shocked more often!”
Mae West
Exactly three years ago, during an virtually unreported incident in northwest Africa (nation of Mali), Islamic jihadis attacked a multi-national (UN) compound with car-bombs, RPGs, mortars, and a ground assault.
The compound was staffed with French and US soldiers (officially “observers”), as well as assorted locals.
A similar attack months earlier in Niger ended the lives of four American soldiers, also unreported!
This surprise daytime attack was well planned and well executed, although ultimately repelled, but the “politically sensitive nature” of these military side-shows, particularly those involving American personnel in isolated outposts, is such that incidents like this are intentionally kept quiet, to the degree they can be.
During the attack, an unidentified “UN peacekeeper” was killed, several others wounded. Several French troopers were also wounded, along with two Americans.
Numerous jihadis dead and wounded.
The compound held-out for several hours, until fresh French troops arrived and drove-off the few attackers who remained.
Curiously, Americans at this outpost were “armed only with 9mm sidearms!”
By contrast, French troopers had heavier weapons. They always do!
The question as to why Americans were not armed with M4s, LAWs, and assorted additional heavy weapons at this notorious, dangerously-isolated outpost go, not surprisingly, unanswered!
In fact, troopers assigned to this compound had complained often about “relaxed security” and the fact that they were permitted to carry only pistols.
Their concerns obviously fell on deaf ears!
Lessons for the rest of us:
1) Don’t let someone else decide, particularly someone far removed from your situation on the ground, what kind of weapons you should have to protect your own life!
2) Don’t delude yourself into foolishly thinking that someone else “cares about you” more than you care about yourself!
3) Be suspicious of those who self-righteously tell you that you “don’t need” something. You should be determining your own “needs!”
4) It’s a “come-as-you-are” war! When the attack starts, it will be too late to think about all the things you wish you had!
5) Don’t expect advanced warning! The attack described above had been planned in detail, months in advance. Yet within the compound, they didn’t have a clue!
… until the first mortar round hit!
Expect the unexpected!
Pompous asses don’t enjoy long lives!