Cablegate Chronicles: The Soldier Who Survived the Ambush

This is an installment from our on-going series on the adventures of American diplomats and the people they monitor. The red button below will take you to another random episode.

new story button.png

An unexpectedly accomplished solider provides an assessment of a joint US-Mali training exercise.


¶4. (S) After the ceremony XXXXXXXXXXXX called over one, rather unimpressive soldier, an older, rail thin man with a scraggly beard and bloodshot eyes who had been lounging against a motorbike in a dirty T-shirt inside of a warehouse. He explained that in spite of appearances, this was one of the ETIA's best men, noting that he had been one of the few survivors of a July 4 ambush of a Malian Army patrol by Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (see IIR 6 958 0087 09). When asked how the training had gone, the soldier said if he had known at the time of the ambush what he had learned over the course of the JCET, it never would have happened. He cited in particular learning why and how to establish a mobile patrol post, digging and manning foxholes which afford 360 degree, round-the-clock protection from potential assailants. The soldier said the Salafists would never confront the Army head-on, and if the Army engaged, they would flee, but if there is not proper security, they will creep back and murder you in the most cruel, unimaginable ways. 

Browse the Cablegate Chronicle archive.

Presented by

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus


How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.


Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.


The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.


Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.


Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses


Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Global

Just In