Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Big Guns in Politics

I just found this from Stars & Stripes to be interesting. Strange politics....

Recently, the unit began to curtail its use of so-called “terrain denial” fire as part of an agreement with local tribal leaders and sheiks. Terrain denial fire targets areas that insurgents have used to launch attacks or hide weapons. Insurgents may or may not be in the area when the rounds land, but it discourages them from returning, officers said.

Firing into populated areas can be done only under specific criteria, and Miller said that in the unit’s seven months in Ramadi, he has not heard of one civilian death or injury caused by U.S. artillery here. However, locals are very tired of having the shells land on or near their property, and use of terrain denial fire has become an important bargaining chip in dealing with local tribal leaders.

Commanders agreed to taper off the fire if local sheiks promised to use their influence to discourage insurgent mortar attacks. Whether the terrain denial missions stop entirely depends on what happens next on the part of the sheiks and insurgents.

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