Rules Of Engagement Reviewed

Nine long years ago, then President George Bush decided to send American troops into combat in areas which have historically been known to utilize guerrilla warfare. Of course, being from Texas, and with a vice president whose only knowledge of military affairs stemmed from dodging the draft during the war in Vietnam, it was difficult for him to grasp what the US military was now confronting. For nine years, American forces in Afghanistan have faced issues of how to handle the Rules of Engagement when an enemy can slip into a house, fire, then duck out leaving civilians to face the brunt of retaliation. General Petraeus will be reviewing these Rules of Engagement in order to identify a new strategy which allows US troops to feel their hands are tied in this form of urban warfare. The critical issue is how do troops respond to firing from houses which contain civilians? The easy and quick response is having a plane blow up the house, but in so doing, it only creates more enemies for America and friends for the Taliban.

This is not a new military problem, it has existed for hundreds of years. There is need for creative thinking in order to protect both civilians and soldiers while allowing pursuit of Taliban insurgents. Good luck to General Petraeus if he can find the solution. Of course, the ultimate solution is removing American forces from Afghanistan.

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