August 20, 2010
On Afghan Marksmanship
I saw this Wall Street Journal article on a Taliban sniper is the most-viewed article on WSJ.com. It's worth pointing out, then, that the myth of the great Afghan marksman is just that: a myth. Marine-turned-journalist C.J. Chivers* wrote a great blog post last spring for the New York Times in which he explained, in great detail, why Afghan marksmen -- Taliban and allied -- are actually quite awful. Worth keeping in mind if you hear people talk about wily Pathan snipers.
*Chivers is a real aficionado of firearms and marksmanship. I just filed a review of his new book on the AK-47, and though I don't want to spoil what I wrote (the review will be published when the book comes out, in the fall), I thought it was fascinating.