The Perfect Soldier: Special Operations, Commandos, and the Future of Us Warfare by James F. Dunnigan
Dirty Little Secrets
Hiding From The Enemy And Blowing Holes In Roads Doesn't Work
The Taliban believed that the roadside bomb (IED, or Improvised Explosive Device) was the key to victory in Afghanistan, and a wonder weapon that would succeed where other ideas had failed. This is unlikely, but this is what Taliban commanders have been telling their subordinates for the last few years. As a result, the ineffectiveness of the bombs last year is believed to be a major blow to Taliban morale. The Taliban have greatly increased the bombing effort in the last three years, based on the promise that it would drive the foreign troops away. In 2008, the Taliban planted 5,600 roadside bombs, and that increased to 15,000 in 2010. Thus in 2008, it required 21 roadside bombs (including anti-vehicle mines and suicide bombs) to kill one foreign soldier. Last year, it required 23. A disproportionate number of these deaths were among non-U.S. NATO troops, who did not have as many MRAPs, or counter-bomb technology that the Americans possessed.
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