Weapons: The Pattern


December 31, 2009: The war against IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices, mainly roadside bombs and mines) is playing out in Afghanistan as it did in Iraq. The Afghan terrorists have been using IEDs more, to less effect (against foreign troops), while killing more civilians. Three years ago, one foreign soldier was killed for every 29 IED used. This year, with eight times as many IEDs being used, it took 36 IEDs to kill one foreign soldier. In 2007, it took 55 roadside bombs to kill one American in Iraq. The trend in Iraq was similar to that is now unfolding in Afghanistan. The much higher civilian toll in Iraq turned the civilian population against the terrorists to the extent that overall attacks, and casualties, dropped 90 percent.

The Taliban have tried to avoid civilian casualties by using most of their roadside bombs in isolated areas. But these are more frequently detected and avoided or neutralized. The bombs in populated areas are more likely to work, to the detriment of nearby civilians. The Taliban do not really care that much about civilian casualties, as they believe anyone who does not agree with them, deserves to die, and isn't a real Moslem anyway. It was this attitude that made Islamic terrorists the most hated group in Iraq, even among the Sunni Arab population that provided most of their support and manpower.





Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close