U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan have now ordered a formal investigation into last weekend''s attack on a remote combat outpost that killed nine American soldiers and wounded 15 more. The commanders not only want to determine how scores of heavily-armed insurgents took the Americans by complete surprise, but exactly who were those enemy forces and how were they able to pull off such a well-coordinated and complex attack.

The outpost in Kunar province had been established only a couple of days before when some 200 insurgents staged the pre-dawn attack with machine-guns, rocket propelled grenades and mortars. Eight of the nine dead were killed in a surveillance tower. A handful of the enemy fighters actually breached the wall to the small compound but were quickly driven back or killed. But two days after the assault, U.S. commanders determined the outpost could not be adequately defended and withdrew all American forces. Reports claim that within hours the post was overrun by Taliban fighters.