NBC Weapons: Chemically Enhanced Holy Warriors




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.


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