Saturday, April 4, 2009

With their new "Commander-in-Chief" . . . [Obama] . . .

. . . What About the U.S. Military?

Men and women enlist in the U.S. military for various reasons: adventure, to stand ready to or actively defend the country, travel, testing their mettle, combat experience, preparation for the civilian job market, a college education, a military career, etc.

Some of those currently serving in our armed forces regard it as a job, three squares a day, a way of life, etc.

We, who are civilians and want to preserve this nation, look on our service men and women as patriots, willing to or actively risking their lives to defend the nation. A segment of our population regards the military as oppressors of innocent peoples of the world or as murderers. The latter segment recently elected a President of the United States.

And herein lies the problem.

We now have a president who apparently would rather try to win our enemies' minds and hearts than to defeat them and keep the nation safe.

Remember, the President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Airforce, can send troops, ships, and planes, wherever he deems necessary. Members of the armed forces have no say in what action they are ordered to take.

As a member of the armed forces of the United States you cannot publicly diagree with nor criticize your superior commanding officers--whether you are enlisted or comissioned. That means that you cannot write a letter to the editor of a newspaper critical of the president, go on television and to do so, nor address a public demonstration against presidential policies.

The Rules of Engagement (ROE)

Also, in our armed forces, you must be of a nature to abide by the "Rules of Engagement," that include at whom you can shoot and when it is permitted to do so.

Under the present president and his administration, these will certainly not be loosened, that is allowing our warriors to fight to defeat the enemy, not wage the battle with one or two of their hands tied behind their backs.

Take the ROEs applied in Iraq.

From The Captain's Journal,

we get the following bit of information:

There are the standing rules of engagement, theater-specific rules of engagement, and then unit-specific rules laid out by unit lawyers. It’s this last category where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.

The Mental Health Advisory Team (MHAT) IV, Operation Iraqi Freedom 05-07, Final Report, 17 November 2006, Office of the Surgeon, Multi-National Force Iraq, and Office of the Surgeon General, United States Army Medical Command, outlines examples of problems that have come up on the level of application of the ROE:

More than one third of all Soldiers and Marines continue to report being in threatening situations where they were unable to respond due to Rules of Engagement (ROE). In interviews, Soldiers reported that Iraqis would throw gasoline-filled bottles (i.e., Molotov Cocktails) at their vehicles, yet they were prohibited from responding with force for nearly a month until the ROE were changed. Soldiers also reported they are still not allowed to respond with force when Iraqis drop large chunks of concrete blocks from second story buildings or overpasses on them when they drive by. Every groups of Soldiers and Marines interviewed reported that they felt the existing ROE tied their hands, preventing them from doing what needed to be done to win the war (pages 13 - 14).

The lawyers know that the real power of the ROE lies in how they are applied. If, for example, a unit has completed operations and is headed back to the FOB, and a vehicle takes chunks of concrete through the windshield killing the driver, when the son of a high profile Parliamentarian dies in the subsequent small arms fire because the unit feels under threat, the time will have come to invoke the clause where Iraqi authorities attempt to change the U.S. decision on who has authority over the actions of that unit. Soldiers and Marines have seen stranger things, and that, at the hands of their own lawyers. In fact, one of the most poweful and effective tactics that has been used by U.S. forces - patrols, entering houses, the "knock and talk" - is patently prohibited in Article 22 [5], and agreed to by U.S. lawyers.

U.S. forces are not permitted to search houses and other properties without a courtwarrant, unless there was an active combat operation in accordance to article four, and incoordinating with the specialized Iraqi authorities.

Turning to the Gulf of Aden, the U.S. Navy is absolutely hand-tied and impotent because lawyers across the globe can’t agree to how to treat pirates (h/t War News Updates).
Read the rest at

Also see

Death by rules of engagement
by Diana West

Nato tightens rules of engagement to limit further civilian casualties in Aghanistan
9 September 2008

Afghanistan: NATO Troops Apply 'Robust' New Rules Of Engagement
February 07, 2006

NATO Tightens Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan By VOA News 14 January 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment