Taking Down Taliban Spotters in Kandahar

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 8 months ago

Jim Foley gives us an interesting video journal report from Kandahar.

Jim appears conflicted, but listening to the justification at or around 7:00 minutes and following, the shooting seems justified.  At any rate, spotters are both difficult to detect and deadly for U.S. troops.  I have previously covered aggressive Marine Corps tactics concerning enemy spotters, and the approach taken in this engagement seems no different than that of the Corps in Helmand and Anbar.

On another front, while I understand the reflexive behavior to be sympathetic to the local Afghans, something about this translator bothers me.  The translator with the Marines in Sangin seems more in line with what you would want out of someone performing this service.

Ben Anderson with the Marines and Jim Foley with the Army have given us good video coverage of the engagements, and they are both well worth the study time.

  • TS Alfabet

    This is a bit random, but, as I watched the video, I could not help wishing that the soldiers had at least one helo attached that could quickly and easily transport them around and behind the ambushers.

    As for the killing of the spotter… I just don’t see the crisis of conscience that Jim Foley apparently does. Maybe ISAF could engage in a public info campaign that makes it clear to Afghan civilians that: (A) if an ISAF patrol is anywhere nearby, especially if firing erupts, they are to go inside and take cover. Any other activity that looks like spotting or observation of ISAF positions is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs; (B) ISAF is deadly serious about chasing down and killing the bad guys and the sooner the people cooperate in getting rid of them, the sooner the risk of unintended death will subside.


You are currently reading "Taking Down Taliban Spotters in Kandahar", entry #6262 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Afghanistan,Enemy Spotters and was published February 8th, 2011 by Herschel Smith.

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