Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Instapundit points to this post about the tightening rules of engagement in Iraq. It appears that the individual soldier and Marine now operate under rules that do not give them carte blanche to defend themselves individually. In my view, one of two things must change ASAP: either the ROE be clarified to ensure that our troops have the unqualified right to defend themselves individually, or turn all military operations over to the Iraqis. (Note that I have not read the comments to the linked post, so my thoughts might inadvertently echo those of others.)
The ROE described in the linked post have the aroma of being promulgated, or at least heavily influenced, by lawyer and diplomat types who have never been faced with split-second, life-or-death decisions. While these kinds of people have their place, the battlefield isn't it. Politically correct rules of engagement are an indication to the troops on the line that their superiors are not serious about winning the conflict. Worse, they are an indication to the enemy that we are not serious about winning. See Steven Den Beste's quote at left. I would not be surprised if this has an impact on the re-up rate discussed earlier.
I think it's immoral to send troops to fight in a war that the nation is not committed to winning. I believe we initially were committed to winning in Iraq, but that attitude faded as we got into the nuts and bolts of administering the country after Saddam's fall. I am hopeful based on early reports that the ISG report delivered this morning will have some useful observations and recommendations mixed in with the politically correct BS, and that our elected leaders are smart enough to tell the difference.