New Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan
There is a disturbing letter from one of our soldiers in Afghanistan to his father published on the website of the estimable Michael Yon.
The exact timing of the letter is not clear, but it is apparently very recent. The date on the website is September 26. It is a cri de coeur about our new rules of engagement following the recent green on blue attacks - i.e., the attacks by Afghans we are training on our own soldiers. It's probably best to let the soldier speak for himself:
"I am fed up. I cannot believe the lack of attention the recent changes in this war is receiving by the media or the country. I think I saw one thing on CNN about the following subject, but I had to dig extensively to find it. The purpose of this letter is to let you know of the garbage that our soldiers are going through right now. With this knowledge, I hope that you take action by writing your congressmen."
"...because of this massive change in policy (and complete change in mission) all U.S. forces are forbidden to actively patrol their AO (Area of Operations) and are to remain on their respective COPs/FOBs (Combat Outpost/Forward Operating Base). There are only a few exceptions to this rule and they all pertain to "hardening" highway 1 in our AO. We have received orders that clearly state that all CF (Coalition Forces) will no longer be allowed to drop air to ground munitions within the country of Afghanistan. This preempts Karzi's (sic) announcement that will be made shortly that states the above mentioned order, making it a tactical directive that he is ordering."
The letter appears to say that a significant element of our combat air support - dropping ordnance on the bad guys - is being discontinued!
We do not get much reporting in the MSM from Afghanistan. They want the war to disappear between now and the election. However, this letter suggests that we have made a major shift in both strategy and tactics, and not to the benefit of the fighting men on the ground.
Although the letter is undated, the only point in Michael Yon's publishing it is if it were pertinent to current operations. There is a lot more in the letter. Read the whole thing.