How does that old saying go about those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat those past failures.
Well the sorriest Commander and Chief this country has ever had is ignoring the lessons of Vietnam and increasing the risk to the lives of our young men and women in uniform by instituting some of those same failed policies. At this time our soldier’s are no longer allowed to defend themselves against Taliban rockets and bullets if there are civilians around or in populated areas such as towns and villages due to the risk of civilian casualties. This should be no problem right? I mean it’s not like the Taliban are adverse to civilian deaths or use human shields….right? /snark off/ And the Taliban, who currently control more of Afghanistan than at any time since our arrival, knows about it and that we’re bailing on them starting July 2011, so unless there is a major shift this administrations plans they know they will win….and we will lose.
This is basically the same approach that cost so many American lives in Southeast Asia some 40 years ago.
They use our soldier’s as pawns on a political chessboard.
It’s a game they don’t have the will or courage to win while they turn Afghanistan into the quagmire they told Bush Iraq would be before the surge proved them wrong. You can not fight a politically correct war and expect to win and at this point you have to ask yourself does Obama really want to win or is he playing political games with the very lives of some of our country’s finest citizens.
An unrealistic set of Rules of Engagement,
An unrealistic time frame with which to accomplish the task at hand,
An enemy that KNOWS your exit plans and time frame
And an American Administration without the testicular fortitude nor the actual desire to win this war. That is the very sobering reality we find ourselves in.
You can’t have it both ways, Herschel Smith over at The Captain’s Journal does a great job breaking down the effects the current R.O.E. are having on the War in Afghanistan given
the constraints our forces are being placed under. How does it even make sense to say your worried about civilian casualties so don’t return fire if there’s any chance of civilian injuries or death yet NOT protect the locals from the Taliban themselves anymore? These 1/2 efforts will drive the locals into the Taliban’s arms and kill locally provided intelligence for sure if the fact that you’re leaving them to the radicals in a couple of months anyway hasn’t done the trick. Hat tip to Israel Matzav for his coverage of this and this quote from
J.E. Dyer, who blogs at both Contentions and in Hot Air’s Green Room, in addition to writing her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative, comments:
These ROE have been in place for some time now (they’re from the McChrystal period), and they do interfere with effectiveness in “win the population” COIN. Ironically, now that the tactics have shifted more to hunting and killing the Taliban and other imported terrorists, hearts-n-minds COIN is on the back burner and our exposed troops’ security footing has changed. It has changed for the better, but in the long run the more lethal tactics are for the worse. They are only being approved as a means of making good on Obama’s determination to withdraw troops entirely starting in July 2011. They aren’t making the villagers of Afghanistan safer or giving them any incentive to be loyal to the central government.
The Taliban hold more of Afghanistan now than they did in August 2009, when McChrystal first forwarded his surge strategy to the boss. The Taliban are killing more Afghans now than they have at any time since 2001. Obama’s failure to implement a surge with robustness and dispatch has only made it harder to do what he’s trying to do between now and July. The Taliban have places to hide in the north, west, and extreme northeast that they didn’t have a year ago. What was always needed was a package of BOTH the lethal pursuit tactics and the more restrained COIN among the villagers (what McChrystal wanted to do, with a specific geographic focus), but Obama took forever last year to ultimately decide against that all-out effort. He’s been trying to do one or the other, and that’s just not going to work.
Given the damage Obama has done to the relationships with our allies and the weakness he’s shown our enemies and rivals I don’t think the United States has ever been so alone on this little blue planet of ours.