Why can’t we take the handcuffs off of the military and allow them to use the military dominance that we are capable of? These are the current ROE’s (Rules of engagement) for the military from the Wash Times:
The current ROEs for Baghdad — including Sadr City, home of the Mahdi Army — have seven incremental steps that must be satisfied before our troops can take the gloves off and engage the enemy with appropriate violence of action.
- You must feel a direct threat to you or your team.
- You must clearly see a threat.
- That threat must be identified.
- The team leader must concur that there is an identified threat.
- The team leader must feel that the situation is one of life or death.
- There must be minimal or no collateral risk.
- Only then can the team leader clear the engagement.
If our soldiers or Marines see someone about to level an AK-47 in their direction or start to are receive hostile fire from a rooftop or mosque, there is no time to go through a seven-point checklist before reacting. Indeed, the very fact that they see a weapon, or begin to receive hostile fire should be sufficient justification to respond with deadly force.
We do not need to identify the threat as Sunni, Shia, al Qaeda or Mahdi Army. The “who” is immaterial. The danger is not. The threat of imminent attack must be immediately suppressed. And while we must always respect the lives of the innocent, the requirement of minimal or no collateral damage cannot preempt an appropriate response.
The insurgents, be they Sunni or Shia, are well aware of our restrictive ROEs and they use them to their advantage. Indeed, as the thousands of insurgent-inflicted Iraqi civilian deaths illustrate, the death squads, assassination teams and al Qaeda killers in Iraq have no regard for human life. Victims are looked upon as expendable: cannon fodder in order to achieve their objectives. As we saw in Lebanon, Hezbollah held women and children hostage in the same buildings they used to conduct offensive operations. They wanted civilian deaths. This same tactic is being used in Iraq today.
I mean, I don’t agree with troops going into alleys and weeding out insurgents….I don’t. I don’t agree with sending our boys in little teams into the city to “enforce a curfew” getting into shootouts from their humvees. It’s pointless and only puts our troops in even greater danger. Pull them out and use the technology that our military has developed to recon, observe, and attack with all the power the military is capable of. Drop leaflets if you have to, give the Iraqi people “notice”. But make it clear that the US has no interest in saving your home if it’s occupied by an insurgent. We will help you rebuild later, but for now we’re going to blow the place up. There is no reason to “care” about infrastructure inside a “war-zone”.