May 21, 2010
Politically-correct ROE Seeks to Turn Afghanistan into Beirut
God forbid we send out soldiers into battle with loaded weapons:
Commanders have reportedly ordered a U.S. military unit in Afghanistan to patrol in a manner that could handicap them.
Some soldiers are being ordered to conduct patrols without a round chambered in their weapons, The US Report has learned from an anonymous source at a forward operating base in Afghanistan. Our source was unsure if the order came from his unit or if it affected other units.
On war correspondent Michael Yon's Facebook page, commenters stated that this is a common practice in Iraq, while others said that it is occurring in Afghanistan as well. According to military protocol, "Amber" status requires weapons to have a loaded magazine, but the safety on and no round chambered.
"The idea that any combat unit would conduct any operation, including patrolling and even manning a security post -- in which direct action may-or-may not take place -- and not having weapons loaded, borders on being criminally negligent in my opinion," says Lt. Col. W. Thomas Smith Jr., a recognized expert on terrorism and military/national defense issues. "This is nothing more than infusing politically correct restrictions into already overly restrictive rules of engagement. And this PC nonsense is going to get people killed."
I wonder how high up this order originated, and with good reason. The order to put the Marines in Beirut on "amber" status is rumored to have come when then Senator Joe Biden became infuriated when he visited the base and found that the guards were armed with locked and loaded weapons.
This email came to me from a Marine roughly two years ago:
I am a former Marine, having served from '78-'86 When the barracks in Beirut went down, three Marines I knew went with it. Two were Marines I had attended a school with, and were acquaintances at best. The third was a Marine captain that had, immediately before his mission in Beirut, been my company executive officer.
Many years later, I met another former Marine who had been a senior NCO there. We began to exchange stories of our time in the Corps, as former Marines are prone to do. When the subject of the Middle East arose, he told me a disturbing tale. In a nutshell, Biden, a few weeks before the bombing, had visited the barracks. He had a fit at the defensive posture of the unit, which had prudently set up barricades, automatic weapons emplacements, etc. Per Biden, they were not deployed as appropriate to their "peacekeeping" mission - too warlike, and "sending the wrong message."
He demanded that the fortifications be dismantled. The senior NCO on the scene respectfully reminded the senator that he was not in the chain of command. After throwing a tantrum, Biden and the rest of the congressional fact-finding mission left for home. A few days later, word came down from the Pentagon to comply with Biden's instruction. Evidently, Biden had located a spineless officer at the Pentagon. Also included in the order were some changes to the ROE (Rules of Engagement) that slowed response to any attacks. (Marines were not allowed to keep their weapons loaded) The one Marine, a young lance corporal, who was able to fire on the truck as it headed toward the barracks was only able to do so because he had kept his weapon loaded in spite of the order, after the unit first sergeant had hinted he would turn a blind eye. This is the same young Marine, that suffering from survivor guilt, took his own life shortly after.
I was unable to confirm this story at the time, just as I am unable to confirm it now. We do know, however, that our troops in Afghanistan are faced with absurd rules of engagement created by REMFs (I'll let you look that up on your own), bureaucrats, and politicians like those presently in power.
It appears they won't be satisfied until they get our soldiers and Marines massacred... again.