This is absolutely fucking crazy. What kind of a war are we fighting?
KASHK-E-NOKHOWD, Afghanistan | Army Capt. Casey Thoreen wiped the last bit of sleep from his eyes before the sun rose over his isolated combat outpost.
His Soldiers did the same as they checked and double-checked their weapons and communications equipment. Ahead was a dangerous foot patrol into the heart of Taliban territory.
“Has anyone seen the [Afghan National Army] guys?” asked Capt. Thoreen, 30, the commander of Blackwatch Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment with the 5th Stryker Brigade. “Are they not showing up?”
A Soldier, who looked ghostly in the reddish light of a headlamp, shook his head.
“We can’t do anything if we don’t have the ANA or [the Afghan National Police],” said a frustrated Capt. Thoreen.
“We have to follow the Karzai 12 rules. But the Taliban has no rules,” he said. “Our Soldiers have to juggle all these rules and regulations and they do it without hesitation despite everything. It’s not easy for anyone out here.”
“Karzai 12” refers to Afghanistan’s newly re-elected president, Hamid Karzai, and a dozen rules set down by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the commander of U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, to try to keep Afghan civilian casualties to a minimum.
“It’s a framework to ensure cultural sensitivity in planning and executing operations,” said Capt. Thoreen. “It’s a set of rules and could be characterized as part of the ROE,” he said, referring to the rules of engagement.
Dozens of U.S. Soldiers who spoke to The Washington Times during a recent visit to southern Afghanistan said these rules sometimes make a perilous mission even more difficult and dangerous.
…..Many times, the Soldiers said, insurgents have escaped because U.S. forces are enforcing the rules. Meanwhile, they say, the toll of U.S. dead and injured is mounting.
Some of those “rules”:
• No night or surprise searches.
• Villagers have to be warned prior to searches.
• ANA or ANP must accompany U.S. units on searches.
• U.S. Soldiers may not fire at the enemy unless the enemy is preparing to fire first.
• U.S. forces cannot engage the enemy if civilians are present.
• Only women can search women.
• Troops can fire at an insurgent if they catch him placing an IED but not if insurgents are walking away from an area where explosives have been laid.
……Because of the Karzai 12 rules, U.S. forces have had to bring in American women to conduct searches of their Afghan counterparts.
So Cpl. Amy B. King, 42, a medic from Springfield, Mo.; Spc. Dionalyn O. Bird, 29, a cook from Bloomfield, Conn.; Spc. Toni Winkler, 20, a medic from South Carolina; and Sgt. Frevette J. Skelton, 31, a cook, entered the village with Capt. Thoreen’s men.
“We have the women say their names before we search them because sometimes it’s a man under the burqa,” said Cpl. King. “In some cases, there are weapons on them.”
American female Soldiers are already on the battlefield, so having them search muslim females isn’t a big deal.
Cultural sensitivity???? In WAR??? My gawd, we have met the enemy, and it’s us.
This comment from one of the local imams is telling:
Sahed the imam said U.S. troops were “respectful to his people and provided security.”
“I tell my people in the mosque to not become suicide bombers and to not kill those who want to help us,” he said.
However, asked about the presence of U.S. troops in his village, Sahed said they “need to go. Get out of Afghanistan or it will never be resolved. Between Islam and the infidel there can never be a relationship.”
“In my personal opinion, the Americans won’t be able to resolve this problem,” he added. “The longer they stay the more likely there will be another attack like Sept. 11. It’s only the Afghan people who will be able to resolve this problem.”
Like I’ve said, Afghanistan, along with several other Middle Eastern countires, should have been leveled into parking lots. Letting the Afghans “resolve the problem” will lead to another complete takeover of their country by the Taliban. Given the fucked up nature of Islam, who the hell wants a relationship?
McCrystal is insane for concocting this ROE. If he wants to gain real control over the enemy and win in Afghanistan, playing by the Taliban’s rules isn’t going to cut it.
I cannot believe the miltary hierarchy isn’t raising hell over this. When you allow the enemy to set the rules, which is essentially what’s happening here, then we are so screwed. It’s bad enough we have an incompetent assclown for a “commander-in-chief”. Now, we’re not even allowing the troops do do what it takes to win this war.