The battle spanned the period between 2nd march to 17th March 2002 and it included the combined forces of the US military, Canadian forces, New Zealand, friendly Afghan soldiers, Danish, Germany, Norway, as well as the Australian military forces against the Taliban and the al-Qaeda forces. The US forces, under the command of General Franklin Hagenbeck, managed to get out of this battle as winners after managing to drive the enemy out of the valley with heavy death tolls to measure up their success. The win was however not a smooth sail as can be suggested from the fact that though the war was planned to end after three days, it took seven days to conquer the Taliban and al-Qaeda opposing forces. The US had to exercise heavy combat against their enemies to force them into admitting defeat- a development that was never expected. At the same time, the US suffered a total of 80 casualties where 8 died while the other 72 were wounded to differing degrees. The following essay will undertake to assess both the right and the improvement seeking steps that were taken by the intelligence supporting Operation Anaconda.
The US forces did not have sufficient knowledge of neither the number of the opposing Taliban and al-Qaeda forces nor their weaponry. ...
rmation that was relayed to the US forces was through overheard reconnaissance, human intelligence as well as communications captures that never offered the accurate information, resulting into misleading perceptions. The number of the opposing Taliban and al-Qaeda forces, for example, actually amounted to approximately between 700-1000 men. From the contrary belief, the enemy was armed heavily with grenades, heavy machine guns, artillery pieces and mortars they used against the US fighters.
The US fighters made the mistake of underestimating the level of resistance that the opposing enemy forces could put against them. There was a general feeling that the enemy would put up light resistance and own up hastily owing to the previous defeats that the American forces had had over them. Contrary to this, the enemy did put up a fierce resistance with the goal of attempting to control the valley, thus engaging the US fighters with unexpected extension of the time taken battling them (Naylor 2006p229).
One major mistake was committed by the US intelligence during the early days of planning for the execution of the offensive against Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in the Shahikot valley. The operational level of preparation experienced problems in the organizational area as explained. As Operation Anaconda was at the organizational level, inadequate preparation was shown when the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) were alerted by General Hagenbeck on their role of leading Operation Anaconda two weeks prior to the day the operation was scheduled to start. Likewise, CFACC and CAOC were exempted from the initial planning and only notified of their roles on February 20th. This indeed was a short time for them to adequately prepare with all the necessary battle requirements. The CJTF,