BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS
January 28, 2008: There have been numerous complaints from U.S.
troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, about the inability of their weapons to take
down enemy troops. This led to criticism of the 5.56mm M4/16 rifle bullet, and
the 9mm pistol round. But after interrogation of many captured fighters, and
medical examination of those killed or wounded, another factor was discovered.
Many, often most, of the bad guys were doped up. With methamphetamine and pain
killers drugs of choice. This put the fighters into a combative mood, and
insensitive to pain. The enemy considered themselves "holy warriors," with each
battle likely to be their last. These guys also knew, from talking to survivors
of fights with the Americans, that they stood little chance of surviving such
battles. The meth and pain killers enabled them to get shot several times,
hardly feel anything, and keep going. Just what a holy warrior wants.
There were some real problems with the
5.56mm, mainly that it could not go through walls, doors or floors as well as
larger caliber bullets like the older 7.62mm (the most common bullet size
during the World Wars.) The larger 7.62mm also does more damage when it hits
someone, although if the victim is doped up, the larger round will not always
stop him with one shot. There was another problem, in that enemy fighters were
buying or stealing armored vests from local security forces.
As word of all this spread among U.S.
troops, head shots became more common, because it was noted that a hit in the
torso of a doped up holy warriors failed to not knock them down. Many troops
realized they could not always muster that kind of accuracy in the chaos of
combat. The alternative was to put more bullets into each target. That led
troops to carry more than the standard seven magazines (of 30 rounds each). Ten
to twenty magazines became more common, especially if the troops were
travelling in a vehicle.