Vic, what if the enemy is dispersed and it is not known what to bomb and shell.
The Iraqis were fighting conventionally and hence presented targets for Americans. Hence most Iraqi (military) casualties might have been air/arty inflicted. In Afghanistan too, air/arty is extensively used, but that is to compensate for lack of boots on the ground. If one started to use a Hellfire or mortar fire against every bike mounted terrorist, then technically yes, Air/Arty kill rates improve, but the expense will surely hit sooner or later. Even the world largest economy will bleed itself.
And the best part is the Taliban choose the time & place of battles, so they have the strategic initiative.
Marksmanship and other skills are still the deciding factor, rather than gizmos.
wise words here.
let me type out 3 quotes from 2 books
1. From SLA Marshall's famous book "men Against Fire" - page 19
The belief in push-button war is fundamentally a fallacy. But it is not a new fallacy. It is simply an age old fallacy in modern dress. There is one controlling truth from all past wars which applies with equal weight to any war of tomorrow. No nation on earth possesses such limitess resources that it can maintain itself in a state of perfect readiness to engage in war immediately and decisively and win a total victory soon after the outbreak without destroying its own economy, pauperizing its own people, and promoting interior disorder
2, From "Acts of War" page 171
Veterans frequently comment on the surprisingly ineffective nature of so much fire. After scrambling back in from a patrol amidst a hail of fire, Charles Carrington recorded "Home, with one man wounded and for the twentieth time I marvelled ho much ammunition can be spent without killing a man". Fred Majdalany said of Cassino that "The remarkable thing about modern shelling is not how many it kills, but how few," and Martin Lindsay, inspecting heavily shelled German positions near Caen complained "I walked round the battlefield and found that only three huns were killed by our barrage. They were all dug in and not a single dug-out had a direct hit" "One of the things that amazed me is ow many bulets can be fired during a firefight without anyone getting hurt" remarked Douglas Graham a medi withj 3rd battalion, 1st Marines, in Vietnam
3.Acts of war - page 209
fears of the effects of enemy weapons have a siilar tendency towards iogicality; soldiers do not necessariy fear most those weapons which do the most damage. Dollard's subjects feared bombs most of all, then trench mortars, artillery shells, bayonet and knife.
In strictly rational terms mortar and artillery fire should be the most alarming fo it has been the greatest killer although not necessarily the most cost effective killer..