Kabul to Qalat

We followed the Army patrol and quickly caught up with the bikers (they were driving low powered dirt bikes). The bikers intermingled with the Army patrol without incident, and eventually pulled off the road. The encounter highlights the often murky nature of the war in Afghanistan. While we and the Army captain suspected the motorcyclists were Taliban, without provocation or a method to communicate on the fly to confirm their identity, the troops had to let them go. The soldiers chose to follow the rules of engagement. Opening fire on the bikers without positive identification could have caused the deaths of Afghan police and created animosity between the Afghan and Coalition security forces. Allowing potential Taliban to flee may allow them to kill Afghan civilians or Coalition security forces in the future. Welcome to the wild, wild west of eastern Afghanistan.

As in all theatres troops are just forced to let the "baddies" go due to being politically correct. Fair enough the ROE are there to help us as well as them but we need to go back to being a bit more heavy handed in my opinion.

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