HAVE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT CAUSED CASUALTIES?
SOF Wants to Hear From You!
By Harold Hutchison
Are American troops being placed in harm’s way by rules of engagement adopted by the Obama Administration? According to the parents of a SEAL killed in the downing of Extortion 17, a CH-47, the answer is yes.
In an article at Breitbart News, Karen and Billy Vaughn write, “Before each deployment, these soldiers understand fully that day after day they will do battle against relentless terrorists with shifting loyalties and unspeakable hatred. But what none of them could have foreseen was the killing field that would open from their rear: the Continental United States.”
Recently, there have been cases where American troops have been charged for acting to protect their troops. One such case involved 1LT Clint Lorance, who received a 20-year sentence after acting to protect his forces from Taliban scouts.
The Vaughns describe one Ranger who left the service “after he lost a close friend to the ROE. He explained how the Taliban had attempted an ambush on his friend’s squad but quickly realized they were in a battle they couldn’t win and began retreating. While chasing them, the U.S. soldiers were ordered not to engage due to the slight chance the Taliban had laid down their arms as they ran through some type of shack.”
The friend was killed while arguing with his superiors. The Vaughns note that “warfighters have the grave misfortune of serving leaders who elevate the virtues of inaction over action. The message? If you dare use your training or your gut instinct, if you have the fortitude to fight for your life or the desire to kill the enemy, there is a good chance you will be punished.”
To All SoFers: As most of you know, the most recent issue of SOF's cover story is about the Extortion 17 disaster and the subsequent efforts of the Vaughns to find out what really happened...and why. Their comments in this article have prompted me to solicit from SoFers, examples of overly restrictive ROE's have resulted in U.S. casualties. My position is if it’s my troops or civilian lives I would support the decision making of my men. Please let me hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have knowledge of such examples. RKB.