The Center for Grassroots Oversight

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Profile: Will Swenson

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Will Swenson was a participant or observer in the following events:

Marine Corporal Dakota Meyer ignores orders to remain in place and leads five forays into a ravine outside the village of Ganjigal, Afghanistan, after members of his column are ambushed by Taliban while attempting a meeting with the village elders. Meyer and Staff Sergeant Juan J. Rodriguez-Chavez, who are off to a flank and not inside the ambush, rush in and rescue several trapped American and Afghan soldiers after Captain Will Swenson of the US Army calls for artillery support and the request is denied. Meyer, Rodriguez-Chavez, Swenson, and others also retrieve the remains of three fallen Marines and one Navy corpsman. (Chivers 9/15/2011) Meyer will later be given the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions (see September 15, 2011) (Chivers 9/15/2011) and Rodriguez-Chavez will receive the Navy Cross. (Shaughnessy 6/10/2011)
Limits and Dangers of Counterinsurgency Theory - The event will later be examined and used as an example of the problems that can occur with the counterinsurgency theory that has been pressed upon the troops by the Pentagon. The villagers’ betrayal to the Taliban, ambiguous lines of command, and refusal of help from nearby units will all been documented as the kinds of problems that enlisted soldiers typically face in Afghanistan. (Chivers 9/15/2011)


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