G&M Headline: “Taliban turning to more ‘complex’ attacks”
While it is entirely possible that the Taliban are indeed conducting more ‘complex attacks’ the story leaves something to be desired. The data points collected by Mr. Kovanen don’t tell the whole story – for nowhere does the article indicate if this increase in attacks has translated into increased effectiveness. I note that the majority of Canadian soldiers killed in 2008 were as a result of IEDs rather than clashes or firefights – this suggests that despite the increase in so-called complex attacks, the Taliban have scored very few successes, and must resort to IEDs. Mr. Kovanen sets the bar quite low when characterising complex attacks as those with more than one type of weapon – this is not difficult, the insurgents are typically armed with rocket propelled grenade launchers (RPG-7) and the ubiquitous AK-47 assault rifles. What matters is whether the insurgents will be able to carry out sustained and co-ordinated attacks requiring detailed planning and command and control mechanisms – if this becomes the case, then there is cause for concern.
Whether one agrees or not that Canada should be involved in the manner in which it is in Afghanistan, the very least the Globe could do is demand that their fact checkers do some homework rather than printing an article which the cynic in me might believe is intended to negatively affect support at home.
And from the Comments:
Robert Quinn from Japan writes: The driver in the picture didn’t look to be wearing his seat belt during this mission. Also, it’s unsafe to be riding in the back of a pickup truck with unregistered RPG launchers. I hope we can assume ever-considerate Canadian representatives with the UN have alerted Taliban vehicle operators regarding this potentially dangerous oversight.