A Republican congressman who previously served as a Navy SEAL commander said Thursday that bureaucratic red tape might have delayed a rescue force and prevented close air support from adequately helping an Army Special Forces team during a firefight in southern Afghanistan this week in which one American was killed.
Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.), questioned if the rules of engagement in Afghanistan played a role in limiting the support troops on the ground received. They remain “so restrictive that when a unit is pinned down available assets are not given the latitude to respond in a timely manner and it appears in this case that it cost lives,” Zinke said in an interview.
Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Q. McClintock, 30, of Des Moines, Wash., was killed Tuesday when his team, along with a detachment of Afghan commandos came under small arms fire. In the ensuing battle, an Army HH-60 helicopter was damaged, forcing it to the ground, while another was waved off because of heavy enemy fire. Two other U.S. soldiers were wounded as were an unknown number of Afghan troops. The Washington Post