Snipers in Iraq
U.S. intelligence agencies have built their own version of the famous Russian-designed AK-47 assault rifle for use by American snipers in Iraq.
The snipers are firing at one form of deadly insurgent and terrorist attack, the so-called “spray and pray” method used by those who try to sow terror by emerging from hiding and firing a machine gun randomly into crowds.
The special U.S. snipers have used .50-caliber long-range rifles for killing terrorists. Now, they are using the modified AK-47s to kill insurgents without a normal shot to the head.
Instead, snipers are killing insurgents with shots to the heart, and creating dissension and doubt in the groups over who is behind the sniping. The 7.62 mm round used by the AK-47 differs from the 7.62 mm sniper round used in normal U.S. sniper ammunition and creates a different wound.
When the history of the war on terrorism is written one day, historians no doubt will credit risk-averse lawyers with making the war longer.
Legal restrictions are hampering soldiers from defending themselves in the streets of Baghdad and are limiting the effectiveness of secret operations by special operations forces and intelligence personnel, defense officials say.
One Special Forces commando stated that the lawyers are risking lives in Iraq because of confusing written rules on when troops can fire weapons in “Escalation of Force” cases, that is, combat against insurgents and al Qaeda terrorists.
“Escalation of force is ridiculous over there,” the commando said. “If an EOF occurs and a weapon is fired, it is to be reported so ‘a 15-6 investigation’ can be initiated.”
An Army Regulation 15-6 investigation requires a commanding officer to gather evidence, interview witnesses and write a report every time a weapon is fired, a time-consuming and useless bureaucratic exercise in a war zone where numerous firefights take place almost every day.
Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld liked to stand at his desk as he read papers and dictated memos.