June 15, 2009: In Afghanistan, many of the successful counter-terror techniques developed in Iraq, are being imported and used. One of the more useful tactics is to analyze the patterns of roadside bomb placement, then predict where the bomb placement teams were likely to operate next, and put UAVs or balloon mounted cameras up, to watch the roads likely to have bombs placed. When a team is spotted, a UAV fires a Hellfire missile and kills them. If ground forces are in place, it's sometimes possible to capture and interrogate the team. In one week long effort last year, six of these teams were killed, including one containing Pakistani Taliban trainers. With the trainers gone, roadside bomb attacks in the area declined 50 percent for weeks after.
Going after trainers, leadership and technical personnel is another tactic, learned from the Israelis, that cripples terrorist operations. To do this, a considerable intelligence effort is required, and that's why a lot of intelligence and Special Forces units are being shifted to Afghanistan.