Analysis: Taleban are not becoming more sophisticated, they are just getting lucky
IT WOULD be easy to think that the recent attacks on Nato’s base at Camp Bastion, which killed two US marines and apparently was aimed at Prince Harry, is evidence that the Taleban is becoming increasingly sophisticated.
However, I do not believe that this is the case.
The Taleban would like us to think they are a sophisticated lot, but the truth is they are not – they are just getting lucky.
The fact is with these bases is that you have to man them and service them and inevitably the cheaper option is getting local people to help. The downside is that because of this, the Taleban are gathering intelligence on how to attack, often by sheer luck of having local contacts on the inside of the bases.
The flow of information is something which needs to be stopped if these attacks are to be stopped.
The only way to get on top of it is to make sure our troops, and our troops only, are manning these bases – as well as beefing up security.
When you are in someone else’s country it is inevitable that this happens – that information and intelligence gets out and bases get attacked.
Looking at the problem of the so called “green on blue killings”, when during the same Camp Bastion attack, two US marines were killed and several more wounded when a man believed to be a member of the Afghan local police force turned his weapon on soldiers from Nato-led forces, in my experience there is not much you can do about it.
When you put a gun in someone’s hands you are taking a risk and there is not much you can do about it apart from keep it away from the headlines. I’m not suggesting censorship, but it should not be afforded the sort of naval-gazing and chest beating it does at the moment.
Having been involved in counter-insurgency operations in underdeveloped countries such as the Middle East, green on blue killings were fairly commonplace as well as attacks on bases. This is nothing new.
• Clive Fairweather is a retired colonel who was one of the most senior officers in Scotland and previously second in command of the SAS.
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