More on Suicide Bomber Kill Ratio

BY Herschel Smith
12 years, 8 months ago

In Terror Tactics, we observed that the difficulty in emplacing IEDs had caused a more discrete tactic, that of suicide bombers.  We also observed that this had caused an inversion of the kill ratio in the Iraq campaign.

… in both Iraq and Afghanistan, direct kinetic engagements are being avoided.  The kill ratio which has been maintained throughout both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom is approximately 10:1.  This has caused huge losses for al Qaeda (and the Taliban in Afghanistan), and they have largely transitioned to a tactic which is much more surreptitious and difficult to stop: the suicide bomb

The Taliban haven’t completely turned off the faucet of kinetic operations against NATO forces, but when they engage they usually lose.

Seven Taliban militants have been killed in Afghanistan at the weekend after two separate attacks on police posts in the south and east, officials said Sunday.

In eastern Nangarhar province, four militants were killed in an exchange of fire early Sunday after attacking a police post near the border with Pakistan, provincial spokesman Noor Agha Zwak told AFP

Three others were killed on Saturday in the former Taliban stronghold of Musa Qala in restive Helmand province, police said.

“They attacked our police post. Our guys returned fire and three Taliban were killed,” provincial police chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal told AFP.

Taliban rebels stormed and captured Musa Qala early last year, making it their biggest military base from where they directed attacks on Afghan and foreign troops across the war-ravaged country.

Afghan and NATO forces recaptured the remote town in a large-scale operation involving thousands of troops in December. Two NATO soldiers were killed in the fighting.

Elsewhere, the US-led coalition, which has thousands of troops fighting here alongside a 40,000-strong NATO-led force, said it had killed “several” militants on Friday in an operation in eastern Khost province.

“A number of armed militants were killed when they posed a credible threat to coalition forces,” the military said in a statement. Five other militants were captured, it added.

Yet about the same time in Afghanistan, the kill ratio was reversed with terror tactics.

A suicide car bomber killed two Danish and one Czech NATO soldiers, an interpreter and three civilians in southern Afghanistan on Monday, officials said.

The Taliban have threatened to step up their campaign of suicide attacks this year to wear down Afghan and Western public support for the presence of foreign troops in the country.

The bomber attacked a convoy from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) near the village of Girishk in the southern province of Helmand, an ISAF spokesman said.

“Three ISAF soldiers, one ISAF interpreter and three Afghan civilians were killed by the blast,” said spokesman Captain Mark Gough. “Four ISAF soldiers and approximately six Afghan civilians were wounded.”

Suicide vests are now the weapon of choice in Iraq.  Coalition forces can no more stop suicide tactics when the weapon (human plus ordnance) gets into theater than they can stop the Taliban from targeting the cell phone towers.  The tenth cell phone tower has been attacked since the start of the campaign against them, and some cell phone networks have begun to turn off service at night in compliance with Taliban orders.

The solution lies in aggressive offensive operations against the insurgents.  The combination of humans and ordnance must be stopped where they are born, and no later than at the borders (Pakistan, Syria), and if they do make it into theater, the enablers and save havens must be targeted.  No amount of force protection can succeed when offensive operations are strategically necessary.

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You are currently reading "More on Suicide Bomber Kill Ratio", entry #999 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Afghanistan,Iraq,Weapons and Tactics and was published March 18th, 2008 by Herschel Smith.

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