The overall percentage of U.S. military fatalities caused by roadside bombs had dipped from more than 60 percent late last year to 35 percent in February. It then rose again to 70.9 percent in May, according to research by the independent Web site icasualties.org. Gains in defeating the bombs have not resulted in fewer deaths because the number of bombs -- and the lethality of some types -- have increased, military officials said.One can assume, based on previous trends, that we will see similar tactics in Afghanistan eventually. 18 months? 2 years? That's my guess, on the outside. Maybe faster if the US gets out of Iraq -- there'll be thousands of angry men with guns who are still itching for live-fire excercises against the Great Satan, and Afghanistan will be the best option if they actually leave Iraq. (Something I don't see happening until January, 2009.)
Insurgents are also staging carefully planned, complex ambushes and retaliatory attacks as they target U.S. troops, the officials said. While few in number, these include direct assaults on U.S. military outposts, ambushes in which American troops have been captured, and complex attacks that use multiple weapons to strike more than one U.S. target. For example, attackers will bomb a patrol and then target ground forces or aircraft that come to its aid.
"We are starting to see more sophistication and training in their attacks," said a senior military official in Baghdad. While the vast majority of attacks are still relatively simple and involve a single type of weapon, "clearly the trend is going in the wrong direction," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Attacks up, more complicated in Iraq