What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Insurgent snipers in southern Afghanistan

Somebody is keeping the pot boiling at the right temperature with sniper-like precision, adding assets to the deadly mix of the Afghan insurgency. That is what I tend to ponder when I consider this piece of text here:
"On Aug. 13, the day the company arrived in Sangin, a Marine stepped from his armored vehicle about 100 yards from a secure U.S.-British patrol base. The sniper fired a single shot, killing the soldier, the Journal said.
On the same day, Darren Foster, 20, a British army engineer from Carlisle, England, was shot and killed as he walked in an unprotected small space that bridge two areas of bulletproof glass, the Journal reported.
"(The sniper) hit a moving target in a space this big," said Capt. Jim Nolan, Lima Company's commander, indicating a space of 9 inches with his hands."
I am thinking of "somebody's" role with the alternative in mind - that is:
- The Taliban suddenly managed to buy some good sniper rifles on the market, and could finally put to use the sniper skills of some of their best available marksmen.
- They took/take the time to have some of their own trained as snipers by pros.
Alternative nr. 1 is unlikely, while alternative nr. 2 is in the end not that different from the original proposition.

2 comments:

Guy said...

A British paper - I'm afraid I can't remember which one - was reporting that the Taliban had hired in snipers from outside the country.

Péter Marton said...

I see. I am wondering, though, if it really is the nature of the Taliban to employ mercenary snipers. I don't rule out money being involved to some degree. But in the end these snipers fight with the Taliban much like some professional bomb-makers and others with special expertise spreading know-how there.