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SOLDIERS: OBAMA'S RULES OF ENGAGEMENT COSTING U.S. LIVES IN AFGHANISTAN

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The hearse delivering the body of Marine Hunter Hogan from the airport Friday morning passes through an avenue of flags and a crowd of people in the heart of downtown York. More than 150 Patriot Guard riders provided escorts for the Marine's body and his family.


 28 Oct 2012 


I find it infinitely interesting that the media so often fail to ask so many of the really important questions. For example, according to icasualties, as of the 13th of October, 2012, 1,567 of the 2,136 US troops killed in Afghanistan have died since Obama became president of the United States. That is, 73% of all troops fatalities there happened in the 45 months since Obama took office, compared to 8 years under Bush. The number of wounded under Obama has increased almost 5 times over the number of wounded under Bush.

Why have so many more died under Obama in less than four years, than under eight years of George W. Bush’s watch?

The answer is easy. Under Obama, the Rules of Engagement (ROE) have been progressively tightened since 2009, limiting more and more the circumstances under which a US serviceman can use deadly force. Worst of all, the ROE has become so complicated that soldiers are afraid to fire for fear they will face a court martial. The aim of the changing ROE is theoretically benign: every attempt is being made to guard against civilian casualties. But US soldiers are facing people who are indistinguishable from civilians in almost every way, until they start shooting or set off a bomb. How do they know if someone involved in suspicious activities is a civilian or an insurgent?

You can see the effect of the changed ROE on US military deaths as follows:

2001 12
2002 49
2003 48
2004 52
2005 99
2006 98
2007 117
2008 155
2009 317
2010 499
2011 418
2012 272

Under Bush, the casualties were relatively low. Indeed, as Peter Szoldra, an ex-Marine commented, “When I deployed to Afghanistan as an infantry squad leader in 2004, I had the utmost confidence in my superiors, our mission to restore order to Afghanistan, and to help the Afghan people. At the time of my deployment, we had clear rules of engagement (ROE): if you ever feel that your life is threatened, you can respond with force, to include deadly force.”

He adds: “Beyond this, we also patrolled our area of operations with the knowledge that if we ever radioed “troops in contact,” our requests for air or artillery support would be approved.”

All this has changed. Now, he says:

“Instead of being afraid of the might of U.S. firepower, enemy fighters use our Rules of Engagement and restrictions on air support against us. When faced with a split-second decision of whether to shoot, soldiers many times must hesitate—or be investigated. Or, as in the case of the 2009 Battle of Ganjgal, excessive restrictions on air and artillery assets unfortunately meant excessive American deaths.

We are willing to restrict ourselves to the point of helplessness to avoid even a possibility of civilian casualties,” said one military officer who I’ll refer to as Evan, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I have personally watched the same man arm and disarm 12 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) over a week, with no strikes allowed due to collateral concerns.”

Simply put, Obama would rather have our soldiers die than deal with the political fall-out from accidental civilian deaths. To see the ridiculous constraints our soldiers labor under, here’s a telling quote from another article:

“On many nights, the Marines watched through their night-vision goggles as shadowy figures dug holes in the ground, and on several occasions they opened fire. At some point, the order came down: Stop shooting at night unless you can positively identify an insurgent.

“We knew what that person was doing … burying an IED for sure,” said Wimer, who is now out of the Marines and enrolled in college. “But the command would say, ‘You can’t be positive. They might be a farmer.’ Ridiculous.”

Yes, ridiculous. But the result is tragedy. 

by on May. 2, 2013 at 4:29 AM
Replies (91-96):
gammie
by on May. 4, 2013 at 5:54 PM


We need to get the troops out of Afghanistan and it should be relevant  since they are being hurt and killed! And NO we should not send more of anything because it will means they can stay there longer than they should be and all we will get is more death!

Don't forget that the Bushes are close friends of the Saudi's. And you are right the puzzle is a a lot bigger than we know. But who we are killing now is just plain murder.

Quoting 143myboys9496:

 Seems you've missed my point.

I was saying that the ROE's need to be functional.

WHY we're in Afghanistan is IMO, irrelevant as our soldiers are already there, getting killed, permanently maimed and wounded, DAILY. They need deserve to have ROE that allow them to protect themselves.

If you honestly believe that the ONLY terrorists died in 9/11 you're deluded. They were just a piece of a larger...much larger puzzle of terrorists.

Quoting gammie:


How free are we now after going into Afghanistan ? 

Did you know the killers where Saudi's they trained in Florida. They are killing  the wrong people they are innocent. 

All who were involved are dead from 9/11

these wars are not about Terroism you need to do more reserch!

holy fuck wow is right!!!

Quoting 143myboys9496:

 Holy fucking WOW!!!

Way to go Barry...he's such a pompous ass, he doesn't give a rat's ass about anyone other than himself. These men and women fight for our freedoms..(that includes YOU Barry) with their lives daily..and as commander in chief of our armed forces you don't have the fucking decency to give them clear ROE?? How I wish that was impeachable.

But then Barry needs to protect his radical muslim friends.

 

 

Yo Barry...are we moving forward yet?

 

 



 



rccmom
by Gold Member on May. 4, 2013 at 6:06 PM
1 mom liked this

 

Why thank you. I really like conversing with pvtjokerus because she makes me see things from the other side, and that is a good thing. It keeps me from becoming too rigid in my thinking when I can discuss ideas with persons with opposing views.

Quoting 7SportsMom7:

Thanks for restoring my faith that CM can actually have some interesting conversation with opposing views (it's so rare).  I learned something from both of you and pvtjokerus; and, while you both are confident and passionate about your opinions, that "righteous attitude" wasn't there.  Kudos to you both.  Wish there was more of that here.

 

143myboys9496
by Gold Member on May. 5, 2013 at 12:14 AM
Where did I ever say we should send more of anything and our troops should NOT come home? I NEVER said or even implied either.
I do believe though that while our troops are there they should fully be able to protect themselves, that is until insurgents start wearing signs identifying them for what they are.


Quoting gammie:


We need to get the troops out of Afghanistan and it should be relevant  since they are being hurt and killed! And NO we should not send more of anything because it will means they can stay there longer than they should be and all we will get is more death!

Don't forget that the Bushes are close friends of the Saudi's. And you are right the puzzle is a a lot bigger than we know. But who we are killing now is just plain murder.


Quoting 143myboys9496:

 Seems you've missed my point.


I was saying that the ROE's need to be functional.


WHY we're in Afghanistan is IMO, irrelevant as our soldiers are already there, getting killed, permanently maimed and wounded, DAILY. They need deserve to have ROE that allow them to protect themselves.


If you honestly believe that the ONLY terrorists died in 9/11 you're deluded. They were just a piece of a larger...much larger puzzle of terrorists.


Quoting gammie:




How free are we now after going into Afghanistan ? 


Did you know the killers where Saudi's they trained in Florida. They are killing  the wrong people they are innocent. 


All who were involved are dead from 9/11


these wars are not about Terroism you need to do more reserch!


holy fuck wow is right!!!


Quoting 143myboys9496:


 Holy fucking WOW!!!


Way to go Barry...he's such a pompous ass, he doesn't give a rat's ass about anyone other than himself. These men and women fight for our freedoms..(that includes YOU Barry) with their lives daily..and as commander in chief of our armed forces you don't have the fucking decency to give them clear ROE?? How I wish that was impeachable.


But then Barry needs to protect his radical muslim friends.


 


 


Yo Barry...are we moving forward yet?


 


 






 




pvtjokerus
by Gold Member on May. 5, 2013 at 7:47 AM
1 mom liked this

 Thank you!  This is an area that I have much knowledge on and really don't have any emotional attachment to the subject.  Unfortunately, when I am really passionate about a subject then I unfortunately come across as having the righteous attitude.  But it takes two to tangle and rccmom made it easy to converse without the "other things" that is normally involved in these conversations. 

 

Quoting 7SportsMom7:

I just gave kudos to rccmom (and you) for having a challenging conversation with oppposing views.  I learned something from both of you and appreciate your abilities to share your opinions without the "righteous attitude".  It was refreshing to read on here.

 

Quoting pvtjokerus:

 Touche'    :  )

 

Quoting rccmom:

I'll concede my opinion could be wrong, but I know the amount of influence the US has in the NATO, and if we had wanted to remain a stronger presence, IMO, we would have. However, we could not keep that level of troops there, and put forth the troops wanted for Iraq. So, I do not believe it is wrong, which is why it is my opinion. Yet I can see from the way you have explained it that that also is a viable opinion. Perhaps Bush's reasoning was somewhere in the middle of both our perceptions, or maybe something went on neither of us knew about. 

Always enjoy listening to your opinion. You do make me try to think and to see things from the other side. Enjoy your week-end!

 

Quoting pvtjokerus:

 Again that is not true.  Bush "didn't allow" NATO to take over.  That was the agreement by all.  Bush didn't come up with that plan and there was dread that NATO would screw things up and of course they did.  The Afghans agreed to this in order to start moving forward and reclaiming their country.  Your opinion is just that, an opinion.  It is not backed by facts. 

Afghanistan was on the path of being stable.  The terrrorist were hiding in PK, along w/ bin Laden.

What do I think should be the objective for AF?  Good question.  I'll have to chew on that one for awhile....

 

Quoting rccmom:

 

What had we won? Was Bin Laden dead? Bush allowed NATO to take over because he wanted to free up US troops for Iraq. We see the same history, I just see different underlying reasons. Let me ask you, what do you think the objective should be for AF. Is it to rid the country of terrorists, or create a stable country to deter terrorism from continually springing up there?

Quoting pvtjokerus:

 No, one can't say that Bush took his eyes off AF and if they do then they do not know their history or the events that took place in country.  Remember there was a big push to start turning the country over to NATO.  AF was divided up into segments, for example, the Italians to over Herat area (this is where they made deals with the Taliban and still got kidnapped and blown up).  You had the Brits take over Helmand and they allowed the Taliban to come into a small section and set up shop.  This bit them in the butt and later the Marines had to come in and take care of business.  And then you had the Germans who just sit behind their walls in Kunduz.  The bottom line is that the United States had won and when NATO came into power in AF the country started sliding backwards into the opposition's hands.  This had nothing to do with Bush taking "his eyes off AF."

 

Quoting rccmom:

 

Yes, another way to look at it is Bush took his focus off Afghanistan and decided to focus on Iraq. Why? When it comes down to it, it doesn't matter. It is wonderful that for a time we had a positive reponse in that country and women could walk around without being harrassed, but that is not our job. It is not our country. Karzai is a snake, but we put him there. He turned around and accused us as working with the Taliban or Al Qaeda, I forget the exact accusation. All we needed to do was hit the terrorists. Maybe we couldn't have done it back then more strategically, but I think we could have.

Anytime you go into a country with troops, good intentions or not, you become an occupying force. No country likes having an occupying force. The nature of warfare has changed, but we are slow to catch up with it. It isn't about going in and holding ground cause the terrorists are very mobile and they just move to another area and we play "whack a mole."  Afghanistan drained the Soviets for what, 10 yrs? What did they manage to accomplish, not much. 

Quoting pvtjokerus:

 Well look back at what happened in AF. Before 911 AQ was using it as their playground.  bin Laden was hiding there and he was causing havoc world wide.  Then 911 happened so we had to go in there and take care of business.  At that point, Karzai was very grateful for the U.S.  We saved his life and we put him into power.  We had to put boots on the ground because back then the drone situation was not up to speed and there was some rules that was blocking us (I can't remember off the top of my head) but Bush wanted to that route......Anyway, we had won in AF.  Women were being able to start walking around without being harassed and they didn't cover have to cover up.  Life was starting to get back to norm until Iran started helping the Taliban and AQ.  That was the same time frame that NATO took over.  That gave the bad guys a real surge!  Then Obama came into the scene.......and the rest is history.

 

Quoting rccmom:

 

Probably partially so. ROEs are always political, and my point is they have been hindering US troops for a long time. Another reason they are there is because of bad publicity from the US media.

Yes, Karzai, so why are we there? That is what I am saying. Why do we even need boots on the ground? Can we not destroy the terrorists with drones, and surgical strikes? If we brought our troops home, they would not be in danger. Simple.

I do not support Obama in these ROEs, but I did not support Bush throwing us into Iraq, and keeping us so long in Afghanistan. And I certainly don't appreciate articles that seem to play political football with military death tolls. The article is leaving out pieces of info that would give us a much better picture. One source I found put the us military death toll under Bush as being over 7,000. Now that in the article would give a bit more of a perspective on it.

Quoting pvtjokerus:

 No....the ROE's under Obama was put in place because of Karzai's complaining.  While he was trying to look strong in the eyes of his Afghanis, he was sucking millions out of us and allowing his brother to continue drug trafficking.  Karzai complained and Obama doing what he does best, bowed down.  This led to the new "you can't shoot at night until you can 100% conclude that the person that is shooting you is really meaning to shoot you.  Oh, and if they put their gun down (like run out of bullets) and ran to another spot, you still couldn't shoot the bad guys.  Then it was decided that night raids were a no go.  No more night raids .....THE SAFEST TIME FOR OUR TROOPS TO STRIKE AGAINST THE BAD MEN. 

 

Quoting rccmom:

 

No, I am making no false claims, and Obama is not perfect. We don't need to be in Afghanistan, and we certainly did not need to begin Iraq. We could do what we needed to do with UAVs, and strike teams. There is no need for boots on the ground. Boots on the ground get killed. But if we use drones, people whine about collateral damages. If we use strike teams, people whine about collateral damage.  With boots on the ground, people still whine about collateral damage. Guess what, ROEs are to reduce collateral damage. So you, and I mean you in general, stop whining about collateral damages. That is why I also asked for the reasons for the ROEs. That is one reason why this article is useless because it gives only part of the story.

You want American service men and women to stop being killed, get us the f@/k out of harm's way. I am not being silly. I am pissed. The only time some people are concerned about our troops is when it is politically convenient to do so. Bush and Obama both get us killed, and dead is dead, regardless, but Bush is the one that started the wars. Do you know anything about the ROEs that existed in Vietnam or Africa, or do you think this is a new thing under Obama? 

 

Quoting SallyMJ:

Don't be silly. This article is about Afghanistan - which Obama proclaimed is a "just war."

Are you saying those numbers are normal? 500% more deaths and 600% more injuries in 3 YEARS 9 MONTHS under Obama  - compared to EIGHT YEARS under GWB? 

Do the math, listen to the testimony of retired military from Afghanistan and parents of dead soldiers, who all say specifically the Rules of Engagement are getting soldiers killed at an astronomical rate. These should not increase by 500%, good Lord. And tell me how in God's name you - obviously a military expert far more experienced than soldiers on the battlefield - can insist that Obama's ROE are NOT killing and wounding a hugely increased number of soldiers? And that soldiers not being able to defend themselves, seeing their friends get killed, sharply disagreeing with their commanding officers about this, and speaking up about this when they get out of the service are lying?

You do know how to calculate percentages?

Iraq casualties decreased 70% in only one year under GWB due to the surge, and has been in a drawdown, so you can't compare the two - they are apples and oranges. 

Is it possible by any stretch that your false claims and math challenges might be because Obama is your guy and allegedly is perfect??

 

Quoting rccmom:

This article is useless unless it takes into account the lives lost in Iraq and what the rules were there at the time during Bush"s Presidency, and particularly during the surge. Even then, unless you have specific on what ROEs have been in place when, where, and for what reason, it is not very useful.

I have 2 nephews over there. One was just almost blown up at a check point. Thank God the truck loaded with explosives was 3rd in line when it blew, so he was not killed. I would, as a Vet myself, and part of a family of vets, very much appreciate it if people would stop playing political football with the military death toll. If you actually care about this, get our troops back home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clairwil
by Platinum Member on May. 5, 2013 at 8:12 AM
Quoting SallyMJ:

73% of all troops fatalities there happened in the 45 months since Obama took office, compared to 8 years under Bush. The number of wounded under Obama has increased almost 5 times over the number of wounded under Bush.

Why have so many more died under Obama in less than four years, than under eight years of George W. Bush’s watch?

The answer is easy. Under Obama, the Rules of Engagement (ROE) have been progressively tightened since 2009, limiting more and more the circumstances under which a US serviceman can use deadly force.

Obviously tigher rules of engagement, against the same level of enemy action, and with the same number of troops in the field, will lead to more casualties.

And, if the operational objective was to kill everyone who isn't one of your soldiers, then that would be bad.

But you have to match the rules of engagement against the objective, ask if it is helping, and if the change is worth the price.

And you also need to take into account, when doing the comparison of Bush vs now, whether the situation is the same, of whether the enemy has had 8 years to adapt their tactics to the Americans being there.

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Oct. 12, 2013 at 4:30 PM
1 mom liked this

How are more dangerous ROE a good thing when they result in THREE TIMES as many soldiers killed, and EIGHT TIMES as many soldiers wounded, in 3.5 YEARS under Obama, vs. 8 YEARS under Bush?

Is that what you tell the families of the dead and those who lost a leg or arm? Is that why you call yourself a compassionate liberal?

An increase of 20% in anything is huge. Let alone 300% or 800%.

Probably shouldn't have cut Statistics class.


Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting SallyMJ:

73% of all troops fatalities there happened in the 45 months since Obama took office, compared to 8 years under Bush. The number of wounded under Obama has increased almost 5 times over the number of wounded under Bush.

Why have so many more died under Obama in less than four years, than under eight years of George W. Bush’s watch?

The answer is easy. Under Obama, the Rules of Engagement (ROE) have been progressively tightened since 2009, limiting more and more the circumstances under which a US serviceman can use deadly force.

Obviously tigher rules of engagement, against the same level of enemy action, and with the same number of troops in the field, will lead to more casualties.

And, if the operational objective was to kill everyone who isn't one of your soldiers, then that would be bad.

But you have to match the rules of engagement against the objective, ask if it is helping, and if the change is worth the price.

And you also need to take into account, when doing the comparison of Bush vs now, whether the situation is the same, of whether the enemy has had 8 years to adapt their tactics to the Americans being there.


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