Rules Of Engagement Getting Our Soldiers Killed At Alarming Rate

Fallen Soldier Rules of Engagement getting Our soldiers killed at alarming rate

“American troops are needlessly exposed to increased enemy attack, suffer unnecessary casualties, cannot secure or control the indigenous population and are not allowed to deny freedom of movement or maneuver to the Taliban.”

This is a portion of an 8 page letter that a Tactical Commander in Afghanistan, Colonel Harry Tunnell, wrote to Secretary of the Army John McHugh in August of 2010. Throughout this letter, Tunnell associates what he believes to be unnecessary dangers faced by American troops with the Army’s adoption of its “Counterinsurgency” operational doctrine known as COIN.

Introduced  into the Afghan theater of operations by General David Petraeus in July of 2010, COIN includes 24 “points” to US commanders in the field, all based on the belief that “alienating Afghan civilians sows the seeds of our defeat.” In short, the intent of COIN is to “win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.”

But the winning of those hearts and minds has come at a steep price. During the first 9 years of the war in Afghanistan, 1000 American soldiers were killed. In the 27 months since the adoption of COIN, another 1000 American soldiers have been killed. As a function of time, that’s more than a 400% increase in the number of American casualties.

And in his letter, Colonel Tunnell explains that COIN is the principle reason for what he believes to be any number of unnecessary deaths.

According to Tunnell, “COIN has become such a restrictive dogma that it cannot be questioned…” “This has created a dysfunctional and toxic leadership environment throughout our Army which has resulted in poor organization, unrealistic training and indecisive battlefield performance.” For example, “Afghan Army battalions were performing security operations…” and leading other operations in the field. Of course, as Tunnell explains, the overwhelming majority of Afghanis cannot read or write! Also, providing Afghan troops with security information has resulted in countless deaths of American and coalition troops as Muslims trusted under COIN have turned into terrorist murderers.

“Worst of all,” says Tunnell, “COIN dogma has degraded our purpose to willingly, effectively and realistically train for combat.” “I was continually badgered to not conduct brigade maneuver live fire training before deploying because NTC leaders deemed that we were already ‘too lethal’ of an organization.” Tunnell’s unit was sent to one of the most dangerous locations in Afghanistan; yet live fire training was disallowed because the unit was already “too lethal!” The Colonel continues that, upon deployment to the field “…we were subsequently forced to conduct a brigade attack as a matter of force protection almost without delay. We had to do the attack without the benefit of the live fire training that we requested…”

“Eating soup with a spoon” is how Lt. Colonel Gian Gentile has described the COIN doctrine, as it has “…removed the essence of war—fighting—from its pages.”  “It is as if our COIN doctrine, with all of its seductive simplicity, operates like a secret recipe: “do this, and then this, and at the right moment add this and … you win…”

Were the fortunes of war so easily predictable and controllable, many, perhaps even most, of the 1000 American troops who have died since mid-2010 might still be alive.

“Leaders are willing to conduct operations at the tactical and operational levels of war to decisively defeat the enemy or they are not,” concludes Colonel Tunnell. Tragically, the unwillingness of today’s American leaders to decisively win a war is responsible for the needless—indeed, criminally callous and cynically disregarded—death of countless American soldiers.

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Photo credit: TexasEagle (Creative Commons)

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4 comments to Rules Of Engagement Getting Our Soldiers Killed At Alarming Rate

  • geraldine

    i find the article on rules of engagement scary. my son had ro leave right after the death of his dad to afghanistan. he has been there for almost 9 months. i have put my faith and trust in god to take care of him. but i have sat knowing he needs to get out and very soon. i think all of them should come home and let that country be what they want. not our ways their own. to see needless death of our young men and women overwhelms me. i sit hoping a knock on the door is not someone telling me he is gone. this is frightening to say the least. thank you for finding this information and sharing it with us

    • upaces88

      I continue to argue that point along with you. The citizens KNOW who would NOT kill our Military as well as KNOWING who is/or will be quite capable of murdering those who are trying to help their country.

      UNTIL the "enemy" is defined vs. "friendlies"….BRING THEM HOME!

      Bring them home, then when they beg for help…let them know that The Rules of Engagement WILL change. Forget the PC crap or we go home. We are here to SAVE YOU.. so get out of the way and let us do our jobs since you can't!

      Put the cross back up on the building that our Military enters to pray for strength and protection. It is OUR Base (our soil) in your country and they should have NO SAY SO.
      . .

      • artinthewild

        In war there is no room for political correctness. I hate that term anyway – Our men are too valuable to waste there in that wasteland. I think it's time for our men to come home and let those people fight it out. They were inhuman in 600 BC and they are the same today….they will never change – I know there are good simple people (esp. the women) and I cry for them….but our soldiers are dying needlessly because when they are not there any more….everything will return to the way it was.

        • upaces88

          This IS the most important article I have EVER read concerning PC. This is just an excerpt; however, PLEASE read all of it.
          Crucify Political Correctness on the Altar of Freedom of Speech
          The West will either reject the logic of Political Correctness or suffer a catastrophic failure of vision, will, power and influence, destroying civil society as we know it. This may sound drastic, and of course it is. But why is it being claimed here? Because the ideas in the doctrines of Political Correctness and related notions like Multiculturalism are so destructive that—much like magma—these cannot long be held safely before spilling over and causing tremendous damage, chaos and destruction of our society.

          The reason it must be eliminated is because Political Correctness is a Trojan horse for Marxism, which always destroys everything it touches. PC is a curse which must be denounced before it mangles its host society, especially since it is the very opposite of Free Speech. More importantly, individual responsibility is eliminated by PC standards which make irrelevant personal morality. This is the subject of this essay.

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