A battle 18 months ago that has come be called the "Black Hawk Down" of Afghanistan, with nine Americans soldiers killed and 27 wounded, is drawing new scrutiny in Washington as a snapshot of what has gone wrong in the war effort there. A company of paratroopers, who had landed just days before in Wanat, were still digging in their new outpost when they were overrun by 200 militants, resulting in a catastrophic 4-hour firefight. One insurgent managed to get inside the unit's command post, where he killed three soldiers, including the platoon commander.
A history of the battle, obtained by the New York Times, is said to be one of the factors influencing Gen. Stanley McChrystal's strategy shift to a style of counterinsurgency that focuses on winning over locals more than killing militants. Missteps in the battle started with lack of training geared specifically to Afghanistan, a shortage of air surveillance, and zero rapport with the local population.