From the Times of London:
Although the Taliban are estimated at only 15-20,000, they are proving a more formidable enemy than previously realised. According to John McCreary, a defence intelligence analyst, for every allied soldier killed, wounded or kidnapped last month, the Allies killed, wounded or captured a single Taliban, compared with six a year ago. Allied soldiers killed two anti-government fighters for every Nato and government death. “During all of 2008 the kill ratio was never so close,” said McCreary. “This should be unacceptably embarrassing news for the coalition.”
How come this is happening?
One reason is the restriction on the use of air power imposed by McChrystal to try to reduce civilian casualties, which were turning people against foreign troops.
Conventional wisdom unsupported by the fact that jihadist forces a much greater proportion of civilian casualties. It could only be thought up by a commander who ignores the enemy threat doctrine (jihad).
The number of bombings are half what they were a year ago but Nato casualties are at their highest levels.
“Air power is our main advantage and we’re not using it,” said McCreary. “It’s like fighting with a hand behind your back.”
More on that from Wired magazine below. Back to the Times:
McChrystal’s orders are being passed to the most junior levels of the US armed forces. Yesterday at Kandahar air base a group of soldiers was shown a PowerPoint presentation before heading out on a supply convoy. The troops were shown where IEDs had been found along their route and told not to fire indiscriminately even if they were fired on. The briefing ended with a projected screen of McChrystal’s quote:
“It’s not how many you kill, it’s how many you convince.”
Gag. Convince of what? Christianity? Capitalism? Diversity? Mustard over ketchup?
Today, from Wired, comes "How the Afghanistan War Got Stuck in the Sky," an article describing how this sicko US war to "convince" works on the ground for flesh and blood soldiers in jeopardy who have asked for air support ... and must wait ... and wonder if their request will be honored in time, or if at all -- if their lives are deemed worth saving to their own commanders.
Back at Echo’s schoolhouse headquarters, Faucett stares at an aerial view of Moba Khan on his tablet computer. He sees a problem: The building Paz has identified as the sniper’s perch is next to several farmhouses. “Man, the target house is right on the edge of that village,” Meador says, rubbing his shaved scalp with the palm of his hand. If he orders a strike that hits a farmer’s kid instead of a sniper, the Taliban will have some angry new allies, and the brass will be apoplectic. Meador wants to protect his men. But he also can’t be sure who or what a bomb would hit. Meador tells Faucett to wave off the F-15s — and hopes he hasn’t made a serious mistake. ...
It's We the people who have made the serious mistake, empowering the leaders who approve this policy and fail to raise any serious questions about it.