Diana West

Incoming jihadi fire is increasing greatly, at least compared with recent months. Recently, insurgents tried to breach the perimeter fence -- probing defenses, no doubt. It is now, right now, that COP Margah should be on the Worry Meter for Americans. This U.S outpost in the Wild East of Afghanistan sounds all too much like another COP Keating or Wanat just waiting to happen.

And the U.S. military knows it. InÿApril 2011, Long War Journal reported on a visit by David Axe to COP Margah, where he learned that insurgents based in Waziristan, Pakistan, "train fighters in indirect fire, using the COP as a target." If the insurgents use COP Margah as a shooting gallery, I conclude this makes our men there sitting ducks.

Army 1st Lt. Jason Wright further explained: "The Waziristan Agency (tribal government), they have a handbook ... almost exactly like our Ranger handbook that goes over advanced infantry tactics and small unit ambush raids, that sort of thing. (In a captured copy of the book) they had drawings of the COP and the OP, measurements, distances, all that sort of thing, and it was pretty high-speed stuff for them. You wouldn't think they'd have anything like that, but they did."

Now remind me again: If jihadists use COP Margah as a shooting gallery, what does Uncle Sam use it for? For what national purpose is the U.S government ordering troops to risk death to defend a chunk of Afghan terrain near Pakistan? Shouldn't Afghans be defending their own terrain -- if they even want to? Shouldn't someone in Congress, or maybe an extra-brave GOP presidential candidate, raise the question? Too bad for the troops, but these leaders seem as disinterested as the rest of us.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).