‘Exposure to unnecessary risks killing Afghan troops’

September 21st, 2010 - 1:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Sep 21 (IANS) An email by an unnamed soldier posted in Afghanistan, leaked to the press Tuesday, said troops in Afghanistan were exposed to unnecessary risks and were dying because of that.
The email by the unknown soldier says his mate Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney would still be alive if troops had been given adequate fire support and better intelligence, Australia’s AAP news agency reported.

MacKinney was killed while accompanying Afghan troops in the Tangi Valley in August.

“We were at times pinned down by a massive rate of fire but we stuck to it. The army has let us down mate and I am disgusted,” the soldier wrote.

The soldier said it was a miracle more Australians had not been killed during the battle.

“That contact would have been over before Jared died if they gave us f…..g mortars,” he wrote.

The email also says how two units of about 24 men each were left unprepared for a confrontation with up to 100 enemies attacking from multiple firing positions as close as 80 metres away, because of lack of intelligence reports.

Meanwhile, Australia Defence Association spokesperson Neil James said the email should not have been released.

“They are fighting a particularly hard war and the last thing you want is something that will interfere with the group dynamics of that team,” he told ABC TV.

“Publishing the email won’t achieve as much as behind the scenes negotiations will,” James said.

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