Army report: Poor planning led to death of diplomat in Afghanistan

Poor planning that "failed at all levels" led to the death of U.S. diplomat Anne Smedinghoff and four others, including three soldiers, in a car bombing in southern Afghanistan last year, according to an Army report.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the document states that civilian and military leaders did not adhere to strict security procedures in the ramp up to a mission to deliver books to a school.


Smedinghoff was the first U.S. diplomat killed since the deadly September 2012 attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, which claimed four lives, including the ambassador's.

The Army report, obtained by the Tribune via the Freedom of Information Act, said the soldiers assigned with escorting Smedinghoff and other State Department personnel to the local school did not receive relevant information for what was billed in military briefings as a "Media Extravaganza."

"The platoon did not know the exact number of people they were escorting, they did not conduct a formal risk assessment, they did not have a specific threat analysis, and they had the wrong location for the school," according to the report.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told the Tribune in an email that a classified internal review of the day had been conducted and that the department determined no rules were broken.

However, some in the diplomatic community are now calling on State to declassify its assessment.

Psaki "said that no State rules were broken. If so, there should not be a problem with releasing the internal review," DiploPundit, a foreign service blog, wrote. "It would be in the public interest to see how the agency's internal review stack up against the Army report."