The rules of engagement under which US military forces must operate has become a political football in Congress as some Republican congressmen believe they can stir up anger by arguing American soldiers are being put at risk due to regulations. Prior to his departure, General McChyrstal issued directives which restricted the use of force “like close-air support against residential compounds” due to fear of risks that innocent civilians would wind up dead. Naturally, there are members of Congress ready to assume the role of protecting those serving in Afghanistan even though those same members of Congress went along with the invasion of Afghanistan and never opened their mouth once during the Bush years of doing nothing. Since a Democrat is in office, they are ready to become defenders of our fighting men and women. The war in Afghanistan is both military and civilian. It is impossible to defeat the Taliban strictly by using military force for the simple reason the American people will not support any large increase in the number fighting in Afghanistan.
The rules of engagement must focus on winning over civilians and that means restricting use of force in areas where there are civilians. Sorry, Republicans, you got America into this mess, you refused to do anything when it was easy to deal with problems and now it is necessary for the whole group of you in Congress to shut up. Unless, of course, you actually have a solution to problems in Afghanistan.