Fox is just announcing General David Petraeus will “adjust” or “modify” the Rules of Engagement for the War in Afghanistan. The current method used is far too restrictive. More as details become available.
A military source close to Gen. David Petraeus told Fox News that one of the first things the general will do when he takes over in Afghanistan is to modify the rules of engagement to make it easier for U.S. troops to engage in combat with the enemy, though a Petraeus spokesman pushed back on the claim.
Troops on the ground and some military commanders have said the strict rules — aimed at preventing civilian casualties — have effectively forced the troops to fight with one hand tied behind their backs.
The military source who has talked with Petraeus said the general will make those changes. Other sources were not so sure, but said they wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen once Petraeus takes command.
Troops in Afghanistan have frequently complained they are hindered – and sometimes put at risk – by the overly restrictive rules of engagement, which have limited night operations as well as air and artillery support.
The change of command from Gen. Stanley McChrystal to Gen. David Petraeus provides an opportunity to re-think the rules of engagement.
“The president has established strategy,” [Secretary of Defense] Gates said. “But from my perspective, Gen. Petraeus will have the flexibility to look at the campaign plan and the approach and all manner of things.”
From ArmyTimes on McChrystal:
Gates saying that if it hadn’t been for the magazine’s portrayal of McChrystal and his staff as generally disdainful of aspects of U.S. policy in Afghanistan and disrespectful of senior government civilians, “Gen. McChrystal would still be there, and executing … the strategy the president decided on and the campaign plan that McChrystal developed.”