In both Iraq and Afghanistan, Islamic
terrorists try to provide medical care for their fighters. Not that everyone
isn't willing to martyr themselves for the cause, but patching up the wounded
is good for morale, and gets a member of the group back in the game.
the wounded terrorists can seek treatment at a local hospital, which was one
reason they didn't attack hospitals. But then the Americans began to check the
IDs of those treated at hospitals. Anyone who did not have a plausible reason
for their injuries (especially those caused by American weapons) was subject to
scrutiny. So hospitals started becoming targets of terrorist attacks.
would also seek medical care from doctors, outside of hospitals. This soon
became impossible in Iraq because so many doctors were driven out of the
country by kidnapping gangs, and criminal activity in general. Some doctors
were attacked because they prayed the wrong way (Shia, Sunni, Christian, or
whatever). Those doctors that stayed sought high security dwellings (some got
into the Green Zone), and were generally unavailable to the terrorists. In Afghanistan,
there were never many doctors to begin with, and most of the new ones that have
showed up were foreigners, and difficult for the terrorists to reach.
doctors and other medical professionals were unavailable, medical supplies were
another matter. These often found their way onto the black market. Thus when
weapons caches are found in Iraq and Afghanistan, there usually also supplies
of food and medical supplies there as well (but these are usually not
mentioned, ammo and weapons are much more newsworthy). The medical supplies
usually come from local hospitals (where staff stealing the stuff, to make some
big bucks on the black market, is a constant problem). In Afghanistan, NGO
medical organizations often find themselves being extorted for medical supplies
(give us the antibiotics and IV drips or we will blow up your clinic) instead
of cash. Thus the seemingly odd cases of medical supplies from UN clinics in
Pakistan, showing up in Afghanistan Taliban weapons caches.
terrorists try to recruit people with some medical training, to use these
supplies. But, in general, the Taliban and al Qaeda don't attract a lot of
highly educated people, like medical doctors or nurses. So they improvise,
sometimes with excellent results. Nothing like wartime pressures to speed the learning
process. But too often, the improvisations don't work, which may account for
the large amounts of heroin, morphine and opium often found among the medical
supplies. Not so much for recreational purposes, but more often to soothe the
pain for a wounded Jihadi who is terminal.