Weapons: Afghans Adopt the M-16

November 24, 2007: The Afghan Army is replacing its AK-47s for M-16s. The first 5,000 M-16s arrive in January, and 10,000 a month after that, until 50,000 have arrived. The Afghan army currently has a strength of about 50,000, and this is expected to reach 64,000 in the next 14 months. While the AK-47 is more reliable when dirty, the M-16 is more accurate, a bit lighter and sounds different than the AK-47. That last item is important in combat, as it helps you sort out who is where. Around the world, rebels and irregulars tend to choose the M-16 over AK-47, if they have a choice. This despite all the criticism the M-16 gets. The AK-47 also has its quirks. But since the AK-47 has been so romanticized in the West, those flaws tend to be played down. Not so in the field.

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