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30,000 More Troops—With One Hand Tied Behind their Backs?

December 3, 2009

The consensus, Left and Right, seems to be that President Obama’s speech was less than stirring.  On Fox News’s excellent news hour, Special Report with Bret Baier, Charles Krauthammer paraphrased Winston Churchill’s famed battle cry to sum it up this way

“We will fight them in air, we’ll fight them on the beaches, we’ll fight them on the field for 18 months and then we start to pack.”

But as the court-martial of 3 Navy SEALs for giving a brutal terrorist “a bloody lip” goes forward, under an Administration that may prosecute the CIA for what were legal interrogation methods, the question is:  Will these 30,000 troops be allowed to fight effectively?

A few weeks ago, the Washington Times compiled a list of Rules of Engagement that soldiers in various interviews had related to Times reporters.  It is not encouraging.  Included in the list are:

U.S. soldiers may not fire at the enemy unless the enemy is preparing to fire first.

• U.S. forces cannot engage the enemy if civilians are present.

Great, our forces are targets first, and we are encouraging the use of human shields.  And don’t get me started on the restrictions the NATO troops are under, who are supposedly “making up the gap” between what General McChrystal asked for, and what Obama is parsimoniously granting him.

Here’s the full list that the Washington Times compiled– plus newly declassified clarifications.

• No night or surprise searches.

• Villagers have to be warned prior to searches.

Operational security is not allowed.  We must make certain the terrorists have a chance to get away.

• ANA or ANP must accompany U.S. units on searches.

Our schedule will be dependent on the forces we are still trying to make into a legitimate institution.

• U.S. soldiers may not fire at the enemy unless the enemy is preparing to fire first.

The LAPD under Federal Consent Decree can act with this amount of force.

• U.S. forces cannot engage the enemy if civilians are present.

Okay, on second thought, the LAPD has MORE freedom to engage than the U.S. military in Afghanistan

• Only women can search women.

Note to al Qaeda:  If the  American squad approaching has no women with them, you know what to do.

• Troops can fire at an insurgent if they catch him placing an IED but not if insurgents are walking away from an area where explosives have been laid.

Hey, terrorists, set up roadside bombs quickly and run away.

Chris Matthews was so worked up by the lack of enthusiasm by the cadets Obama dragged in there as props that he outrageously referred to it as “enemy territory.”

Well, here’s something about rules of engagement that would have gotten the cadets to their feet, ignoring any rules of decorum.  It’s got everything the Ditherer-in-Chief lacks:

“Now there’s another thing I want you to remember. I don’t want to get any messages saying that we are holding our position. We’re not holding anything. Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly and we’re not interested in holding onto anything — except the enemy. We’re going to hold onto him by the nose, and we’re gonna kick him in the ass. We’re gonna kick the hell out of him all the time, and we’re gonna go through him like crap through a goose!”

Cowboy triumphalism.  Tsk tsk.

But while a call to battle would have been more appropriate than the anguished college lecture we got, a week from now, what’s really going to matter is how we conduct the war, not how Obama talks about it.

  1. Frank Hawkins permalink
    December 3, 2009 2:18 pm

    If this is true, let’s move to impeach Obama immediately. You cannot put our precious service men and women in harms way with goofy rules like this. It will only get them killed and lead to a horrible defeat

    • David Forsmark permalink
      December 3, 2009 2:23 pm

      They will say they are the military’s rules. Yeah, and GM and Chrysler WANTED to cut 1000 dealers each, the Auto Task Force had NOTHING to do with it!

      • saja permalink
        December 3, 2009 2:57 pm

        Never trust a Moonie to make the rules. They are completing Jesus’ work, and Moon is the Messiah.

        On another note, Chrysler dealers sold no cars. Ergo, they fold. MB got out just in time.

        • David Forsmark permalink
          December 3, 2009 3:11 pm

          They didn’t fold. Very profitable Chrysler/Jeep dealers had their businesses taken from them with no 5th Ammendment recourse. Interestingly, “minority” dealers an prominent Democrats seem to have been effected less than the average.

          The Moonie reference is so dated, I’m wondering at the width of your bell bottoms.

          • Carterthewriter permalink
            December 3, 2009 3:55 pm

            She’s lonely, David. Lost in time.

      • saja permalink
        December 3, 2009 4:57 pm

        Dong Moon Joo is the Chairman of the Wash. Times. A few days ago a story in the
        NYT quoted Dong saying the Wash. Times is not long for the world. Check it out.

        • Kenneth Gareau permalink
          December 4, 2009 2:07 pm

          saja: Great point if you only read the NYT. Try this on for size:

          Unification Church Announces Power Transfer from Rev. Sun Myung Moon to Sons
          In October, the Unification Church announced a transfer of operations from Moon, who is nearing 90, to his sons. TMP reported that a source had told it the firings at the Washington Times involved a falling out between Hyung-jin Moon, 30, and Hyun-jin Moon, 40, also known as Preston, both U.S.-educated sons of Moon. Preston holds a Harvard MBA and is chairman of News World Communications, the church-owned parent company of the Times.

          According to TMP, Preston Moon was dismayed that his brother Hyung-jin was tapped by their father to be the church’s religious leader. Preston allegedly considered shutting down the newspaper when the three Times executives who ended up losing their jobs would not support him in relation to Hyung-jin.

          In a point of contention, as reported by TMP, Moon purportedly intervened in the conflict between his two sons and the firings may have been reached as a possible compromise measure. But TMP also contacted Douglas Dong Moon Joo, the terminated chairman of the paper, who stated the dismissals were unrelated to any issues involving the Moon brothers.

          and this saja: “The announcement of Mr. Solomon’s resignation followed four event-filled days at the newspaper that were closely followed by other news organizations and bloggers,” Jennifer Harper wrote in the November 13, 2009 Washington Times story, “Solomon resigns as TWT editor. “‘We will conduct business as usual under the able leadership of Jeff Birnbaum, managing editor-digital, and David Jones, managing editor-print,’ said Jonathan Slevin, acting president and publisher of The Times.”

          “Despite those assurances, Slevin later announced plans to cutback staff beginning in January 2010 possibly up to 40%, amounting to approximately 370 positions, and a reduction in the paper’s size. The Times will focus on national and cultural issues and de-emphasize local coverage of Washington. It will also begin free distribution with fewer newstand sales.”

          Nothing spectacular here, local news papers are dying and the national ones need to go on a diet. Add the “family feud” problem and it gets more bizarre.

  2. Rhodi permalink
    December 3, 2009 2:30 pm

    This is sick and wrong!

  3. December 3, 2009 4:35 pm

    This may sound a little rough, but too bad. Our soldiers should shoot anything that moves. If our kids are to be sitting ducks and get killed with these conditions, then the enemy has to pay also. Who is responsible for rules of engagement ? – this is a total outrage. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. I do not see how we can win if this is the policy. How can we give an enemy a “pass” like this. -this is pathetic. They might as a well give our soldiers blanks or rubber bullets to use. This stinks – why should the Pentagon be so politically correct? Doctors are suppose to “do no harm.” Soldiers – “kill people.” Let them do their jobs.

  4. Cynthia Thornburg permalink
    December 3, 2009 4:36 pm

    Just like you can’t legislate stupid: you cannot make rules for war. The meaning of the word is inconsistent with what is now expected of our military. How dare this government send 30,000 more and tell them to be nice. They are sending them to their death. I have no respect for this false government or any of their silly stupid games.

  5. Wayne permalink
    December 3, 2009 5:25 pm

    What would Patton do? Didn’t he run into post WWII bureaucratic thinking when he recognized that the Soviets were expanding their territorial land grab and looting beyond the agreed boundaries? Pointing that out to his superiors in Washington, he was ignored. He thought at that moment in time he could have solved the Soviet problem. Shortly after he was involved in a minor traffic accident in Germany and died from the “care” he received in the hospital. Another of life’s unsolved mysteries, methinks.

    • David Forsmark permalink
      December 3, 2009 5:34 pm

      Well, Jeep accidents were one of the leading causes of death in the Army in the post war era. They really were unstable platforms.

      • Wayne permalink
        December 3, 2009 5:42 pm

        I thought he was riding in the back seat of his limo with his hunting buddy when an army truck turned in front of their vehicle. In the accident I believe he struck his head on something in the vehicle.

  6. unconfirmedsource permalink
    December 3, 2009 6:36 pm

    “If this is true, let’s move to impeach Obama immediately. You cannot put our precious service men and women in harms way with goofy rules like this.”

    Ever hear of the MAC V rules of engagement?

    • David Forsmark permalink
      December 3, 2009 9:55 pm

      It’s actually the one Vietnam parallel that’s legitimate.

  7. Sassamon permalink
    December 4, 2009 9:28 pm

    Newly “declassified clarifications” are symptomatic of Evil.
    Intent of an evil group of people including the commander in chief.
    wwpattondo? Call a spade a spade.

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