T Nation

Reducing Collateral Damage and Security?


Check out this video of an Apache requesting clearance to fire for 10 minutes before finally being allowed to light up 14 Taliban. I'm all for reducing collateral damage, but this had to put our soldiers at risk. Apaches are loud as sin, and there is no way those Taliban didn't know they were being stalked. I thought the whole point of the millions we spend to train each pilot is so that they can make the decision on when it is appropriate to pull the trigger.


If they knew they were being stalked they would have ran and dispersed before the firing started. The gun camera makes it seem like they are right over top but they are actually miles away and the camera is enhancing it thru a thermal viewer.

I agree with your point the rules seem excessive. It’s a clear shot at armed men with no bystanders around. He shouldn’t have to call it in to fire on them. I can’t imagine having to fight like that. Seems like you are making it more difficult for our guys to kill the enemy. Never a good thing.


There were US troops in the vicinity, so part of the delay was coordinating the Apache fires with the ground troops to prevent fratricide. Fox News isn’t going to report that. Pilots don’t get automatic clearance to fire wherever they want when ground troops are in the area. Those apache cannon rounds can go a long way, so the geometry of the helicopters attack has to be deconflicted with all of the friendly forces that may be in the affected zone of the fire.
10 minutes is a bit long to do all of that coordination, but not rediculous, it only seems that way to a civilian.