Afghanistan Rules of Engagement Endanger American Soldiers

This is the most disturbing account I’ve read in some time regarding America’s rules of engagements in the on-going conflict in Afghanistan. From the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights:

I’ve argued in Winning the Unwinnable War and in talks around the country that this policy is self-crippling and morally perverse. And the policy is still in full-effect, as the experiences of soldiers on the ground can attest to.

“Several infantrymen have also said that the rules are so restrictive that pilots are often not allowed to attack fixed targets — say, a building or tree line from which troops are taking fire — unless they can personally see the insurgents doing the firing.

This has lead to situations many soldiers describe as absurd, including decisions by patrol leaders to have fellow soldiers move briefly out into the open to draw fire once aircraft arrive, so the pilots might be cleared to participate in the fight. [emphasis added]”

The image of an American soldier unnecessarily exposing himself to enemy fire in order to gain air support is so appalling that I it’s hard to accept the truthfulness of such an account. The fact that I’m ready to accept it so readily speaks volumes about how the Obama administration—and the Bush administration before it—have perverted America’s willingness and ultimately our ability to defend ourselves from our enemies.

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