10 October 2012
This is the most stunning and forceful letter I have read from the Afghanistan war. It was written in 2010 from Afghanistan by Colonel Harry Tunnell, the Brigade Commander of 5/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
After this letter, Colonel Tunnell was investigated and the normal smear campaign unfolded. Having been embedded with his Brigade in 2010, it became obvious that they were put into a no-win situation, with troops spread over several provinces in Afghanistan.
As an example of the higher level lunacy at the time, on the morning of 01 March 2010, a powerful explosion rumbled over Kandahar Airfield. The Tarnak River Bridge was hit by a vehicle bomb, which blew an MRAP armored vehicle off the bridge. U.S. Soldier Ian Gelig was killed.
In addition to Ian being dead, that bridge was extremely important and closed. How did we let that get blown up? Through the cover-up, I tried to discover how that happened. The ultimate culprit was Canadian Brigadier General Daniel Menard who later was relieved of command and sent home for having sex with a corporal, after having nearly shot one of our helicopters with his rifle (for which he was fined). During the night before he let the bridge get blown up, he admitted to having been watching Olympic Hockey about three miles away from the bridge, on Kandahar Airfield, where the HQ was for all the major players on the letter published below.
Who was responsible for security on this key bridge? Americans had route security up to the bridge from both sides. Under the bridge was the responsibility of the British RAF. Canadian General Daniel Menard was responsible for the actual bridge, because he was in command of an American Military Police unit who was mentoring Afghans who were securing the bridge. And so a British General was in charge of the entire area, and the Canadian general was in charge of a small American unit who was in charge of mentoring Afghans who were in charge of securing this bridge, so important to our operations. You can’t make up nonsense like that. And that is only the beginning.
Colonel Harry Tunnell does not even bother to mention this incident and command mess in his letter to SecArmy, because on the scale of the insanity, believe it or not, this was peanuts.
Without further narration, please read Colonel Tunnell’s stunning letter. As far as I can tell, during those times when he mentions things I am familiar with, Colonel Tunnell is completely accurate.
To download and read the entire letter please click the download link below: