Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Taliban Make Human Shields Work

Using innocents, especially women and children as human shields is an old Muslim tactic in Islam's march to dominate the world. This tactic has restricted allied efforts to root out Taliban terrorists and cost lives and injuries among allied troops. Every civilian death, and many falsely reported deaths at allied hands have been played up in a terrorist sympathetic international press.

However, the recent incursions against the Taliban by Pakistani troops has generated almost no reports of civilian deaths, despite heavy close-in combat and the use of human shields by the terrorists. Where is the international press when Pakistan troops cause collateral deaths? Or is Muslim killing Muslim OK?

Of course, having a closet Muslim as president will only prolong the agony of war and perhaps cause the downfall of the West.


Taliban Make Human Shields Work

June 24, 2009: The U.S. has again changed their rules of engagement (ROE) in Afghanistan, in response to popular anger at civilians killed by American smart bombs. As a result, it's much more difficult to get permission drop a smart bomb when there might be civilians nearby.

Taliban propaganda, and the enthusiasm of the media for jumping on real, or imagined, civilian deaths caused by foreign troops, made people forget that far more civilians (about four times as many) had been killed by the Taliban. But because Afghans have been conditioned to expect more civilized behavior from the foreign troops, much less media attention is paid to the civilians killed by the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Of course, Afghan civilians are aware of who is killing most of the civilians, and that's why the Taliban and al Qaeda are moving down in the opinion polls. But the media hammering foreign troops get every time they kill a civilian, or are simply (often falsely) accused of doing so, has led to the ROE becoming far more strict than they ever were in Iraq. Thus one Taliban victory you don't hear much about is how they turned their use of human shields into a powerful, and very successful, propaganda weapon against NATO and U.S. troops, and an excellent way to avoid many attacks by U.S. and NATO troops.

Under the new ROE, you must, in effect, do a casualty analysis and consult a lawyer, before a deliberate missile or smart bomb attack is made on the Taliban. To their credit, the U.S. Air Force targeting specialists (who do most of this) can carry out the analysis quickly (often within minutes). Even the lawyers have gotten quick at the decision making game. The bad news is that attacks are often called off just because there's some small risk of harming civilians.

The Taliban are aware of the ROE, and take advantage of it. The Taliban try to live among civilians as much as possible. But the Taliban and al Qaeda do have to move around, and the ability of NATO and U.S. ground forces, aircraft and UAVs to keep eyes on a Taliban leader for weeks at a time, has led to the deaths of many smug guys who thought they had beat the system.

The U.S. Air Force has managed to reduce civilian casualties, from deliberate air attack, to near zero. Most of the Afghan civilian casualties occur when airpower is called in to help NATO and U.S. troops under attack. In these conditions, the ROE is much more flexible, but now Taliban use of civilians as human shields can sometimes be allowed to get friendly troops killed. The tactics used by foreign troops will change to adapt to this, and there may be tense situations where Afghan troops are getting hammered, calling for a smart bomb, and told that they can't have it because of the risk of civilian casualties. Another risk is the possibility of the Taliban dragging some women and kids along with them when they move, simply to exploit the ROE and avoid getting hit with a smart bomb.