Restrictive rules of engagement are making things difficult for U.S. Army troops and Marines in Afghanistan --- resulting in a solid blow to morale --- and not much is being reported about that in media, finds Grumpy Editor.
Being handcuffed by restrictive procedures makes it difficult to grab a foothold and gain ground in a combat area.
If such strict regulations in combat with bad guys existed in the 1941-1945 period, the U.S. would still be involved in World War II, with no end in sight.
One wonders what is going on at the Pentagon.
So it was interesting to note the observations and quotes from U.S. combat troops in Afghanistan contained in a Washington Examiner article yesterday, written by Sara A. Carter, the newspaper’s national security correspondent.
With a Kandahar, Afghanistan, dateline, Carter gathered morale-jarring quotes from the frustrated troops.
Keep in mind, enemy combatants wear no uniforms or dog tags in that strange war zone. They hold no rank like corporal, sergeant or captain and bear no serial numbers.
Their garb blends in with what civilians wear.
But the enemy carries weapons, fires mortars, plants bombs and maims or kills U.S. personnel.
Among quotes Carter obtained from U.S. troops in the area:
• "If they (the enemy) use rockets to hit the (forward operating base) we can't shoot back because they were within 500 meters of the village. If they shoot at us and drop their weapon in the process we can't shoot back.”
• “We have to take down our (watch) towers because it offends them and now the Taliban can set up mortars and we can't see them.” (Watch towers surrounding the base were going to be dismantled because Afghan village elders, some sympathetic to the Taliban, complained they were invading their village privacy, explained Carter.)
• "I'm sick of people trying to cover up what's really going on over here. They won't let us do our job. I don't care if they try to kick me out for what I'm saying --- war is war and this is no war. I don't know what this is."
• "Everyone dies for their own reasons but it's sad to think that our friends, the troops, have given their lives for something we're not going to see through."