Target Rich Environment

Insurgents sent only 250 attackers to ambush a group of 30 Marines in Afghanistan. It wasn’t enough.

One Marine designated marksman held off a company-sized force after a Humvee was disabled, killing attackers 20 with 20 shots.

Also note this bit:

Shewan had been a thorn in the side of Task Force 2d Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Afghanistan throughout the Marines’ deployment here in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, because it controls an important supply route into the Bala Baluk district. Opening the route was key to continuing combat operations in the area. [emphasis Murdoc’s]

Logistics has always been a limiting factor in large scale operations in most of Afghanistan. I expect that much of our effort in the coming months will be to better secure existing lines and open up new ones in preparation of additional forces.


  1. Hell-yeah Devil Dogs! 250 vs. 30 – I could have told you the odds were in our favor before the battle started.

    I assume he was using the custom USMC M14.

  2. Can’t really call’em Timex Taliban, because they took a whippin’ and DIDN’T keep on tickin’! 🙂

  3. “We’re surronded and outnumbered. Now they can’t get away!!!”

    Happy Thanksgiving to all the Troops and to Murdoc and his internet shock troopers.


  4. Has political correctness come to the Marine Corps?

    “Designated Marksman”?

    The man is a sniper, dammit! And apparently a very good one.

    Give me a fricken break!!!

  5. jaymaster: Actually, there is a difference between a “sniper” and a “designated marksman.”

    A sniper is a specialized long range shooter who belongs to a sniper unit and is sent on sniping missions.

    A designated marksman is an infantryman with extra sharpshooting training and equipment who is part of a standard rifle squad to provide some longer-range shooting and countersniper work if needed. Sort of a “sniper lite.”

    They’ve often got M14s or accurized M16s, but not true sniper rifles.

  6. Doc,

    That’s educational for me. Thanks!

    But I’m pretty sure they used both terms interchangebly in that article. Maybe I’m reading it wrong?

  7. Yes, you’re correct that they used them interchangeably in the article. I meant to mention that they are often confused in news reports because the press usually doesn’t know the difference. Anyone who takes long range aimed shots is a “sniper.”

    The fact that they mentioned “designated marksman” makes me think that this was probably a DM.

    Of course, “sniper” can more generally mean anyone who hits a long range shot in common usage, so it’s not an unforgivable error. (Except maybe to actual snipers who feel their profession is being watered down…LOL.)

    I just wanted to point out that, in this particular case, it isn’t political correctness run amok.

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