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Inspiration in Afghanistan

C.J. Chivers, a former marine turned New York Times correspondent, has an inspirational story of how one platoon in the remote Korangal Valley of eastern Afghanistan managed to turn the tables on the insurgents who regularly attack them. He tells how an “American platoon surprised an armed Taliban column on a forested ridgeline at night, and killed at least 13 insurgents, and perhaps many more, with rifles, machine guns, Claymore mines, hand grenades and a knife.” The entire story is well worth reading.

The only thing I would add is that it’s a good thing that the U.S., despite considerable pressure to do so, has not signed the international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines. If we had, this platoon would not have been able to use Claymore mines around its ambush site. Some of the Taliban fighters might have escaped and wound up killing some of the American troops. Of course even if we did sign the treaty it would have no impact on the use of IEDs by insurgents in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. They would go right on killing our soldiers with their mines; but our soldiers could not use our much more discriminate mines to defend themselves.


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