Close to the road and relative safety, soldiers saw a man in black walking. He was unarmed. They watched him in their scopes but did not shoot. Western forces in Afghanistan are operating under rules of engagement, or ROE, that restrict them from acting against people unless they commit a hostile act or show hostile intent. American troops say the Taliban can fire on them, then set aside their weapon and walk freely out of a compound, possibly toward a weapons cache in another location. "The inability to stop people who don't have weapons is the main hindrance right now," McMahon said after the firefight. "They know how to use our ROE against us." (h/t Silke)
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Learning About War
The more stories such as this one appear in the media, the more likely it is that reasonable regular sort of folks, the ones who aren't animated by this ideology or that, will begin to understand how war is waged these days. The more mainstream people understand this, the less audience there will be for the Goldtone reporters of the world. People will glance at their narrative, recognize how detached it is from reality, and move on. Remember how back in 2001, every Israeli targeted assassination of an enemy was automatically tagged as a breach of international law? Hard to image these days, isn't it, when targeted assassinations are the most commonly used tool of the Americans and their allies.