Tuesday, June 02, 2009
The Deadliest Terrorist
Taliban judged second best to IRA
For a show that was expected to generate an overwhelming wave of controversy, Spike TV's recent episode of The Deadliest Warrior pitting the Taliban against the Irish Republican Army has actually resulted in a rather meager response.
In a show that compared the training and weaponry of the two organizations -- comparing the AR-18 assault rifle to the AK-47, a flame thrower to an RPG rocket launcher, a landmine to a nail bomb and a slingshot to a bayonet -- the conclusion drawn, via computer simulation, was that the IRA was the superior terrorist force.
The show's analysts judged the AR-18, the RPG rocket, the nail bomb and the bayonet to be the superior weapons.
The results of the show leads one to even more deeply suspect that one of the key mistakes in NATO's prosecution of the war in Afghanistan was the American and British decisions to draw their focus away from Afghanistan and apply it to Iraq. In particular, British forces who had experience dealing with the IRA "troubles" in Ireland would have made for a tremendous asset to NATO operations in Afghanistan.
Then again, there are obvious questions about whether the desert theatre of warfare -- as opposed to the mostly-urban theatre in Ireland -- would have minimized the benefit of the lessons the British learned fighting the IRA.
All the same, the season finale of The Deadliest Warrior leads one to conclude that one of the worst errors made in Afghanistan was getting too ambitious in opening another front in the War on Terror.