Probe: Troops left exposed in deadly Afghan attack.

A U.S. military investigation says command failures left American soldiers…

A U.S. military investigation says command failures left American soldiers in an indefensible position without adequate support when insurgents in October 2009 attacked their remote outpost in northeastern Afghanistan with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and guns.

Eight U.S. troops were killed and 22 were wounded during the attack on Combat Outpost Keating in mountainous Nuristan province near the Pakistan border. The investigation released Friday recommended giving four officers letters of admonition or reprimand for putting the 53 American troops at Keating in a vulnerable position.

Many of the Afghan soldiers stationed alongside the American troops at Keating either ran or hid during the firefight, according to witness statements included in the investigation. The U.S. has spent billions of dollars over the last decade training and equipping the Afghan army and police.

Source: Richard Lardner for the Associated Press.

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