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US Will No Longer Attack Taliban In Houses

From the New York Times:

Allies Restrict Airstrikes on Taliban in Civilian Homes

By ERIC SCHMITT
June 10, 2012

WASHINGTON — The senior allied commander in Afghanistan has ordered new restrictions on airstrikes against Taliban fighters who hide in residential homes, coalition officials said Sunday, a move in response to a NATO attack in the eastern part of the country last week that Afghan officials say killed 18 civilians.

“Given our commitment to protect Afghan civilians, restricting the use of air-delivered munitions against insurgents within civilian dwellings is a prudent and logical step in the progression in the campaign,” Jamie Graybeal, a NATO spokesman in Afghanistan, said in an e-mail on Sunday…

After a meeting on Saturday between Mr. Karzai, General Allen and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker of the United States to discuss the issue, aides to Mr. Karzai released a statement saying that General Allen had pledged to halt attacks altogether on residential areas and homes.

On Sunday, however, American officials said General Allen’s order did not necessarily go that far and sought to describe it in more nuanced terms, saying that NATO would continue to conduct operations against insurgents who use civilian dwellings for shelter.

“When there is concern over the presence of civilians, air-delivered munitions will not be employed while other means are available,” said a senior United States defense official who was not authorized to speak publicly on the policy deliberations.

What other means would those be?

Lest we forget, the rules of engagement were changed back in June 2009 to prevent US ground forces from fighting ‘near houses.’ As the AP put it: "The top U.S. general in Afghanistan will soon formally order U.S. and NATO forces to break away from fights with militants hiding in Afghan houses so the battles do not kill civilians, a U.S. official said Monday."

So, now, for all intents and purposes, we have pledged to not attack the Taliban if they hide in a house either on the ground or by air. So now every house in Afghanistan is a ‘safe house’ for the Taliban.

Militants often hide in civilian homes, so a complete ban on airstrikes could hinder the ability of American forces to pursue the Taliban.

You think?

Troops widely complained that restrictions put in place by General Petraeus’s predecessor, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, exposed them to excessive risk by tying their hands when they sought to attack people suspected of being militants or destroy buildings used to harbor insurgents.

But General McChrystal’s rules were popular with Afghan officials, including President Karzai, and human rights advocates, who said the restrictions had significantly reduced Afghan civilian deaths

And after all, we must please Mr. Karzai and those human rights activists.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, June 11th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “US Will No Longer Attack Taliban In Houses”

  1. Mithrandir says:

    The Desert Vietnam. All sorts of restrictions of where you can and can not bomb, attack, shoot, travel to.

    Too afraid to win, too afraid to retreat.

    The Palestinian Rocket Racket: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skn5XtNJwHg

  2. Petronius says:

    Lucky thing those Taliban aren’t Southerners. Otherwise we’d show them a thing or two.

    During the War Between the States, Mr Lincoln’s Yankees burned every Southern house, church, cabin, barn, smokehouse, shed, corn crib, privy, wood pile, hen house, fence post, rail, crop, and stick of furniture they could get their hands on.

    The Yankee Rules of Engagement were : If it will burn, burn it. If it moves, eat it. If it shines, steal it.

    In the end Lincoln’s strategy worked. Although it hardened the resolve of the Confederate soldiers, it created a Southern population of homeless, hungry, and destitute refugees, broke the spirit of the civilian population, and in the end crushed the Southern will and ability to resist. It was the single most important factor in Northern victory.

  3. P. Aaron says:

    Watch ’em outlaw high-caliber harsh language.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    As if this would have worked on Nazi Germany or Japan.
    Ding Dong! Uh …….. Any taliban in there wanna buy goat porn?

  5. canary says:

    Why can’t the New York Times address this Obama’s orders. Add to his 2009 orders that when the Taliban shooting our U.S. soldiers lowered their guns our troops became ducks.

    Ya think our troops can stop bringing biscuits and apples up to their caves and doors and offering tea?

    General Allen should be ashamed of himself. I’m sure he has the Freedom of Speech to at least
    invite Obama to join our troops and get a first hand look at how well behaved they are!

    I want to hear Mitt Romney on this.

    Shame on the New York Times !! Don’t they realize the Taliban hates the NYT’s freedom to be whores and sluts.

    Shame on the New York Times for not speaking out for the troops that give them the freedom to be the dirtiest prostitutes they are in this country.


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