The enemy has become more aggressive in our area: they have begun using rockets to try to attack us. Fortunately, they have missed badly.
I will not go into details here about our specific situation, but I will comment briefly about rockets in general, as they are widely used in Afghanistan by the Taliban.
107mm rockets were introduced to this country by the Soviets when they tried to occupy the country. They have a long range and are highly explosive. If they hit a building or an area with a lot of Soldiers, they can be quite lethal.
Many other FOBs have been hit with rockets since I have been here, usually with little damage. The good news for Coalition forces is that the rockets are not very accurate, and so they don’t normally hit their targets. They are scary, but usually ineffective.
I am reminded of the Scud missiles Saddam Hussein used in the first Gulf War. The Scud missiles had a long range, but could land almost anywhere within a 350-mile radius, not exactly the kind of accuracy most militaries want. But they could terrify a civilian population, which is what Hussein intended when he fired Scud missiles into Israel.
Similarly, the 107mm rockets are weapons of terror, used to frighten us and the local population. So now we will have to take precautions, which we have already begun. We will also seek out these Taliban to find them and retire them from their careers in amateur rocketry. They want to threaten us, but we don’t joke about these matters – we take threats seriously. We will stop them, if they don’t stop on their own accord.
Meanwhile, in Waza Khwa, Coalition forces engaged and killed a large number of Taliban recently. President Karzai offered to meet with the Taliban and talk civilly about ending the fighting. The Taliban turned down his offer. I suppose they would rather lose than change. It’s an ironic fact that peace cannot be forced, unless one of the sides fighting wins.
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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and
Executive Director of CrossCurrents.
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here. God and Science (Hypertext Edition,
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion: Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).
Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.