Strict battle guidelines hampering British troops in

From The Sunday Times February 21, 2010

Strict battle guidelines hampering British troops in Afghanistan
Miles Amoore in Nad-e-Ali, Helmand
BRITISH soldiers have been catapulted into a deadly and often frustrating game of cat-and-mouse with the Taliban, played out in poppy fields and mud compounds, where dirt tracks are still thought to be littered with mines.

As they fight a severely weakened network of insurgents in the largest military operation in Helmand since 2001, they have expressed frustration at the Taliban’s ability to manipulate their rules of engagement.

Caveats imposed to minimise the risk of killing civilians have forced British commanders to adopt new tactics to hunt and kill the small groups of insurgents who have begun to seep back into northern Nad-e-Ali, where last week about 4,000 British troops seized a small pocket of land once occupied by the Taliban.
Let them play on the west's morality. If we succumb to their tactics the west will only turn the people of Afghanistan even more against us, it will be counter productive, and everything our forced have achieved so far will be in vain.
Life would always be easier for the bloke on the ground without ROE - at least for the short time before the whole theatre goes up in,flames.

War is an extension of state policy, etc.


Book Reviewer
From my largely uninformed view, it appears as if the first battlegroups to deploy in Helmand had pretty unrestricted ROE, and yet success by virtually any metric - with the possible exception of bodycount - was elusive. If newer, sofly-softly ROE have a better chance of winning the province, by all means, let us adhere to them.

I suspect, however, that any strategy with any chance of success will almost surely require not just fewer guns in the sky, but also more boots on the ground.

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