Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dog bites man again.

Apparently having gotten used to IEDs, the NYT reporter seems vaguely surprised when the Taliban actually shoots back.

The story took me a little aback. I mean, reporting shootings in a war zone is like noting that they sometimes drive a little fast at Le Mans. "People getting shot" is generally how you tell War Zones apart from Not War Zones.

16 comments:

Kristopher said...

Afghans shoot back. They grew up with firearms, and know which end the bullet comes out of.

Iraqis tried shooting back, but they kept missing. They don't have a gun culture to speak of.

reflectoscope said...

It is fact that the opfor over there has wised up to attacking en masse, that only plays to the strengths that contemporary Western militaries have in delivering large volumes of precision fires on point targets.

Still, bullets in a warzone? Imagine.

Jim

Anonymous said...

Now I see why DC and Chicago qualify as warzones.

Tam said...

Ayup.

JRebel said...

One lone soldier with a rifle and a good position can tie up a larger force because no one person wants to be the first to stick their head up. It's effective because it's simple.

At worst you lose one or two soldiers to keep your enemy at bay for a few minutes longer. It works for both sides the same way. If the reporter is so shocked by that then it's time for a new line of work.

Bram said...

Bless you for reading the NYTimes so we don't have to.

RobertM said...

Never underestimate your enemy. People seem to have this idea that all our enemies are ignorant goat molesters who think shooting means holding down the trigger on an AK until the mag is empty and not hitting a single thing. That is not always the case. Most of those guys die quickly and what you are left with is those who pull the trigger once then duck. And they know how to aim too.

Anonymous said...

According to the AP, there were a record number of reporters killed last year. Keep up the good work lads!

Gerry

Bram said...

While shooting at the blue screen during scenario training at Fort Dix, I blew away a reporter by accident. The training NCO said "you are only supposed to engage the enemy" follwed by "oh wait, as you were."

D.W. Drang said...

One lone soldier with a rifle and a good position can tie up a larger force because no one person wants to be the first to stick their head up. It's effective because it's simple.
Brown on Resolution Good luck finding a copy--I had to read it via an Inter-Library Loan.

wv: matee. Heh.

Kristopher said...

JRebel: If that soldier is smart enough to only fire five or less rounds, and then fall back to another prepared position, and keep repeating this process, he can tie up a front a half mile wide all fucking day.

There was a reason the Soviets never got very far into Finland ...

Bram said...

That was before the time of UAV drones with infrared cameras - some with missiles that can solve the problem on the spot.

It only works against us in towns and only because we are unwilling to drop 1000 lb bombs in their general direction or have arty take out their zip code.

Geodkyt said...

Bram --

Hell, you use that UAV to get a decent SALUTE to company HQ, and those (now*) happy little hellions in teh mortar sections will happliy drop a 60mm or 81mm present on Omar bin Snipin'. WP is highly thought of in this role. . . only becuase of the obscuring smoke, of course. {grin}


* NOW happy, becuase they get to bring some smoke on someone, after hauling around that crap since leaving basic. Even if you're truck mounted, a mortar crew has a lot mre heavy angular bits to deal with than a rifleman.

bluesun said...

Kristopher:

there was a reason why the soviets never got anywhere in Afghanistan, too.

Will said...

bluesun,
history says the Afghans were finished, until we began supplying them with Stinger missiles to counter the Soviet choppers.

markm said...

There may be a part of the story the NYT is unwilling to print. I have heard some rumors of a severe change in the rules of engagement, supposedly to limit civilian casualties. Clearance to use artillery or air strikes if there might be a village or noncombatants in the way allegedly now must come from a very high level, and is apt to take so long that the situation has been resolved otherwise before you get it.

Ever since early in WWII, the preferred American Army* response to snipers is to call in artillery or air strikes to destroy every place the sniper might be hiding. Snipers only became tough to deal with when the readily available firepower fell short of what was needed to demolish all the suspected cover - which was pretty often in WWII, but not often since then. But if you can't blow up the village because there's one rifleman somewhere in it, then you've got to take the risk of and time for a sniper duel...

* I know the Marine doctrine is slightly different - but I think it is not that they prefer to handle such things the hard way, but that ever since the Navy dumped them on a beach on Guadalcanal and skedaddled with much of the Marines' gear still aboard, they train hard for those times when your rifles are all the firepower that's going to be available. (And I'm not criticizing the Navy for only hanging around being a target for the planned three days, but I'll criticize them as well as the Marine brass for not having done the rehearsals to know what could be unloaded in the time available, and adjusting plans accordingly.)