But the news has been leaked to the British public:
The much-hyped first American ground attack on Afghanistan ran into
unexpectedly fierce resistance and almost ended in disaster, senior defence
sources have disclosed.
The public admissions by Donald Rumsfeld, the US Secretary of State for
Defence, and US Navy Rear Admiral John Stufflebeem that they were surprised
by the toughness of the Taliban gives a glimpse of how badly things could
have gone wrong.
The attack was meant to be a purely cosmetic exercise for the benefit of the
media and the public against a relatively safe and poorly defended target.
But there had been a failure of intelligence, and the troops from the elite
75th Rangers Regiment ran into such heavy fire on the ground near Kandahar
that they had to beat a hasty retreat. A Chinook helicopter airlifting them
out lost its undercarriage and had to make a forced landing.
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