Military experts have long-deemed limiting the enemy’s movement as vital to an effective campaign.
In the deserts of southwestern Afghanistan, this can prove challenging. There are few roads. Tire tracks cut across the sand like a child’s crayon scrawling on a wall. Traditional vehicle checkpoints can become ineffective, as the enemy can simply avoid them.
“Once you stop one vehicle at a checkpoint on the ground, you can be pretty confident the traffic will stop from there,” said Sgt. Joseph B. Holcombe, an infantryman with 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, from Haughton, La.