What is the best defense against a sniper? Answer: another sniper. For quite a while the marksmanship of the so-called anti-coalition forces left something to be desired, but with the arrival of better trained enemy riflemen, well-aimed long-range shooting is resulting in an increasing number of casualties. While not producing 1,000-yard kills, some of these Sunni, Shiite and al Qaeda snipers, as well as well-equipped Chechen fighters, have taken out our friendlies with their Draganov SVD sniper systems at ranges close to its maximum effectiveness of 800 meters.
After two Marine sniper teams were overrun, some kills have also been committed with captured American weaponry. However, most hits occur within a 200- to 300-meter envelope and the snipers demonstrate their increasing sophistication by positioning themselves with either a difficult to negotiate terrain feature between them and their target, or they fire from the anonymity and protection of a crowd. In addition, they are firing one round and moving to frustrate counter-fire or assault, and they are slipping their rounds between gaps in our personnel’s body armor.