May 02, 2005

The Report That Should Not Be 

The Multi-National Force Iraq has finally released the report (now, at 20:00Z of 2 May 2005, the webpage of the report is 404 - Not Found) on the Sgrena Incident. As often happens for reports regarding military/intelligence matters, the version released to the public was heavily censored to avoid disclosing sensitive informations.

I downloaded the PDF file and checked personally if the rumor was correct: yes, if you copy&paste the text of the report in a word processing program (I used Word97), most of the censored parts will become readable. Probably it was the mistake of some secretarial staff who prepared the report for publication.

I am reading the whole open report, but I can anticipate that some of the censored information are open secrets - i.e. the unit involved in the incident, the name of the Italian driver etc. Some details aren't really pertinent: the names of the soldiers at the Blocking Position for example. There's a lot of statistical info about IED and VBIED attacks along Route Irish and Route Vernon, and discussion of the SOP and other details of BPs. I think that it is advisable not to disclose these information because it is likely to favor the enemy.

The most juicy parts, from my point of view, are the accurate descripion of the accident and the timeline of the events leading to it. Plus, the findings and recommendations. But I'll write about about it when I'll finish reading. For now I can say that the Italians failed to coordinate properly their mission with the US forces, and this is the main cause of the incident.

Update 03/05: Austin Bay examines the leaked report using his military experience.


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