The attack by Hasan Akbar on his fellow 101st Airborne soldiers in March of 2003 forced a change in military plans according to the 1st BCT’s commander, Col. Ben Hodges, testified.
Hodges, who suffered a minor shrapnel wound, was the first witness called by prosecutors, who opted not to make an opening statement in the sentencing phase.
“I took it personal that I’d lost I don’t want to be overdramatic about it two of my guys,” he said.
Hodges said Akbar’s attack took out of action key personnel responsible for planning troop movements. He said that resulted in the brigade being slow to isolate the city of Najaf, allowing some Iraqi fighters to escape.
“I lost three or four positions that were the worst possible ones we could have lost,” Hodges said. [emphasis mine]
That ain’t gonna help Akbar’s cause.
It’s hard to say how much of an effect this all had, of course, but the potential is there for it to have been a minor disaster. Who knows who got away, and what those guys have done since that day?