This paragraph is interesting:
Why do I argue that a smaller force (even if compared only against the international troops) that is taking near unity fatalities is winning? Simply because it has always been far cheaper, easier and quicker for an insurgent force to regenerate than for a counterinsurgent force to regenerate. Additionally, it is highly probable that the vast majority of insurgent fatalities and incapacitations are coming from direct combat with American combat units. In this arena, the insurgents are trading roughly 5 total insurgents killed or incapacitated for every 4 US soldiers killed/incapacitated.
From my reading about the current warfighting dynamic, it seems that the terrorists are fighting mainly from ambuscade. The terrorists have learned that they can't fight head-to-head with coalition forces because they sustain unacceptable losses in a setpiece battlefield. The US is damned good at that type of fighting. They sustain losses when the coalition performs law-enforcement type sweeps, due to personnel captured. The only option left to them is the ambush and that is the way they seem to have been fighting lately.
I have some small expertise in the classic infantry ambush and the mechanized armor ambush, and I am here to tell you that in every ambush scenario I have been privy to, it is highly planned, thoroughly equipped and completely rehearsed. In the ambush, the freedom of action (initiative) and the time of the attack (surprise) are totally in the hands of the person springing the ambush. If I am the person springing the ambush, then I have the responsibility for the safety of the whole operation. If I think that my losses will be unacceptable, then I don't spring the ambush. I lay in my hole and let the opposing forces go on past my position. I live to fight another day.
If I decide that conditions are favorable and I spring the ambush, then I am willing to take casualties, but the nature of having initiative and surprise is such that my casualties should be about 10% of the opposing forces. To summarize, I am willing to lose one soldier for every ten of theirs I kill.
If the shoe is on the other foot and my force is being ambushed, then there are certain things that I can do, mainly in the form of immediate action drills that have proven to minimize casualties and sway the initiative to my forces. I hope that if I am ambushed I can inflict casualties on the opposing force, but I realize that I am probably going to have to accept casualties to gain the initiative. I also realize that if I do nothing, I am going to accept casualties. So doing nothing is not an option.
So, to summarize, in a properly planned, supplied and rehearsed ambush, I am probably going to escape with no casualties, and might sustain one casualty for every ten I inflict on my adversary. If the terrorists are trading four casualties for every five US casualties, then they are doing something terribly wrong, and I am very glad that they don't know warfighting. No force can sustain casualties like that for long.
Hat tip to YRHT for the link.