Snipers are probably the deadliest enemy soldier out there. That’s a period to the left. From an intelligence perspective, the snipers are so valuable because they have lots of Intel to include:
- Enemy tactics, techniques, and procedures.
- Enemy troop movements.
- Communication methods.
- Enemy dispositions (locations).
That means that snipers are in fact, expert map readers, they know the terrain, and even worse, they know you better than most any other enemy combatant. That being said, it’s rare that you ever catch an enemy sniper alive, because like some statistics telling, they would rather die than be captured.
When you are lucky enough to capture a sniper for interrogation, you found a gold mine of Intel.
Not to mention, we don’t eff around with snipers, we generally drop multiple and very expensive bombs with the explicit purpose of blowing the shit out of them on the battlefield.
From a different perspective, the sniper is a guy who brings the fear, and probably the biggest reason snipers are treated differently is fear. I’m not talking about “snipers are the most elite killing machines on the planet” kind of direct fear. I’m talking about a more subconscious fear that many wouldn’t even realize was there. Humans have a tendency to fear what they don’t understand. It’s a survival instinct that has helped keep us alive on our evolutionary journey. We’re also very bad at behaving rationally when influenced by fear.
A sniper is more of the guy who takes shots at you from across the room and yes some of them are cheap and taken while the targets are in compromising positions. Some enemy view hand to hand as the honorable way to fight as snipers couldn’t care less about honorable since the mission is the primary objective and concern. A sniper could not care less if the High-Value Target (HVT) is unarmed and in the middle of eating dinner with his family. If he has the shot and permission to take it then that HVT is surely going to be face down on his plate before the fork reaches his mouth.
This type of mission focus is seen by some enemies as cowardice however, none of that matters to the sniper. The only thing that matters is mission success and getting back to the FOB for more orders.
The reason snipers are treated differently when caught (which shouldn’t happen if they are in their bubble) is because they are the epitome of a warrior and what better way to boost morale than to show your comrades that you have captured one and are going to make him pay.