The Blog

Bing West on Afghanistan: 'Leaving your enemy intact is not a smart idea in any war'

11:37 AM, Nov 5, 2009 • By BILL ROGGIO
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Bing West provides footage from combat engagements with the Taliban in Helmand province. "Video shows why coalition and Afghan battalions inflict few Taliban casualties. Causes include terrain, Taliban maneuver, heavy coalition armor and risk aversion to minimize casualties, while doing a professional job and returning in one piece," Bing writes at his Youtube page. The inability to fix and kill the Taliban allows them to continue to threaten the Afghan people and Coalition forces.

Bing has a money quote in that video: "Leaving your enemy intact is not a smart idea in any war." This is highlighted when a Taliban observer is seen watching the Marines through binoculars, but the Marines cannot engage due to the restrictive Rules of Engagement. The Marines "could see people that I would say 95% they were the enemy, and they could not shoot them because they could not confirm 100%, but when you have someone looking at you through binoculars on the battlefield, ordinarily you'd have permission and you would shoot them, but they didn't just on the tiny chance he was just an idiot."