They know where we are
Our personnel are very close to the enemy as this attack killing eight Americans demonstrates. It is hand to hand combat. One might speculate how al Qaeda was able to perform a successful attack. Our people are out there in remote areas surrounded by a population that does not want them there, whether the opposition is al Qaeda, displaced Taliban, or just local tribesman. Our people are sitting ducks. If they become the slightest bit comfortable or complacent, the enemy will exploit this.
“Suicide bomber attacks CIA base in Afghanistan, killing at least 8 Americans
By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 30, 2009; 6:44 PM
A suicide bomber blew himself up Wednesday inside an Afghan military base used by the CIA, killing at least eight Americans in what is believed to be the deadliest single attack on U.S. intelligence personnel in the eight-year-long war, U.S. officials said.
The bomber managed to slip past security at Forward Operating Base Chapman in the eastern province of Khost before detonating an explosive belt in what one U.S. official described as a room used as a fitness center. The blast also wounded eight people, several of them seriously, U.S. government officials said.
It was not immediately clear how the assailant was able to infiltrate the U.S.-run post, which serves as an operations and surveillance center for the CIA near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. U.S. sources confirmed that all the dead and injured were civilians, adding that most of them were probably CIA employees or contractors. At least one Afghan civilian was also killed, the sources said.
While many details remain uncertain, the attack appears to have killed more U.S. intelligence personnel than have died since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan began in late 2001. The CIA has previously acknowledged the deaths of four officers in fighting in Afghanistan in the past eight years.
"It is the nightmare we've been anticipating since we went into Afghanistan and Iraq," said John E. McLaughlin, a former CIA deputy director who now serves on a board that supports children of CIA officers slain on the job. "Our people are often out on the front line, without adequate force protection, and they put their lives quite literally in jeopardy."
It is heartbreaking to see the negative results and we can only hope to gain from lessons learned. We are very close, and for the eight who are gone will come replacements and reinforcements. The enemy cannot hide forever.
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