The history of guerrilla warfare provides abundant evidence that insurgents over time learn to adjust their tactics in response to attacks on their positions. Afghan militants are adapting to air attacks by scattering quickly after an attack on US or coalition forces. Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell noted insurgents “have a pretty good idea of how long it takes for close air support to arrive” which increasingly gets them to move away from the field of operation when they believe air attacks will soon be hitting them. The history of guerrilla warfare also provides evidence air attacks have minimal effectiveness against insurgents who do not fight in the manner of an organized army that confronts another force.
President Obama in his inaugural speech emphasized we would destroy terrorists. Unfortunately, the United States will not destroy the Taliban or al-Qaeda. Those groups will only be destroyed by people in Afghanistan who believe their government has earned their support.