Dangerous Rules of Engagement

November 5, 2013
Written by D. L. Gary Pandol

Under the Rules of Engagement, the United States military is unnecessarily risking the lives of the men and women who serve in the armed forces. Military orders no longer include traditional military rules of engagement while during World War II, RoE’s such as shoot enemy military personnel on sight, lead to victory and the unconditional surrender of America’s enemies. 

On today’s battlefield, the U.S. military wants America’s soldiers to hold fire as the enemy fires off the first shot. 

During the Vietnam War, with the enemy in his rifle sights, one American soldier recalls he could do nothing but watch as the enemy fired off a mortar shell. The American soldier then returned fire – killing the enemy. But it was too late. The enemy shell exploded behind this U.S. soldier severing both of his legs. This actual scenario remains a constant reality for American troops.

Since the Vietnam War, as American soldiers have fought and died to save lives – firing first at the enemy has meant a court martial and military prison.

Case in point: Army First Lieutenant Clint Lorance of the 82nd Airborne Division, age 28 operating in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The region represented a strategic location for the United States military. The City of Kandahar once served as the Taliban’s seat of government and has been known as the their “spiritual birthplace.” By 2011, Kandahar was referred to as Afghanistan’s assassination city. 

The Taliban’s scout spotters have consistently used their cell phones to track the movement of U.S. forces in the region. This has provided tactical locations for terrorists who then mobilize and set-up ambushes that have killed or maimed many of American’s own. 

On patrol in Kandahar in July 2012, Lieutenant Lorance requested aerial surveillance that would confirm his assessment that his unit was under threat. Indeed. A couple of Taliban scout spotters had been monitoring the movements of Lorance’s combat unit. 

Believing that he and his men may be walking directly into an ambush, Lieutenant Lorance acted to protect his men from what appeared to be an imminent threat. The Lieutenant ordered his marksmen to then kill the two Taliban scouts.

Now Lieutenant Lorance is facing a 20 year prison term. 

Strategic Solutions recommends that the U.S. military change the Rules of Engagement that leave America’s soldiers vulnerable to the savage attacks of the enemy.

Urge the President at 202.456.1111 and your Congressional Representative at 202.224.3121 to pardon and release Lieutenant Lorance and those in military prison for acting to protect their own lives and the lives of their men. 

In the midst of war and heavy fighting, with the stench of death and the deadly grind of daily battle, it is time for the United States military to return to traditional Rules of Engagement that support the old war adage: “Kill or be killed” and “shoot first and ask questions later.”

Hear my latest vignette on this subject, Of International Note, Rules of Engagement on this website. Click the radio link and then vignettes.

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