THE WISH GRANTER: It's Raining Rocks

When the targeteers at U.S. Central Command grew frustrated in their hunt for al-Qaeda fighters hiding in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, they utilized a new tactic that turned the rugged terrain to their advantage: causing avalanches. With the help of U.S. Geological Survey maps and a Navy reservist who is a geologist in the civilian world, U.S. bombs triggered dozens of rock slides into forested areas where al-Qaeda troops were hiding. Warplanes dropped smart bombs on precise points where the geologist predicted they would act like jackhammers on rocky cliffs. The tactic had the advantage of surprise: enemy forces, relieved...

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