Skip to comments.ISAF, SCR Address Military ROE and Tactical Directives
Posted on 07/11/2010 2:31:00 PM PDT by SandRat
KABUL, Afghanistan (July 11) - Our strategic imperative to reduce civilian causalities has not, and will not change, said German Army Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, International Security Assistance Force spokesman, at a weekly operational update press conference held at the Government Media and Information Center today.
Blotz and Dominic Medley, Senior Civilian Representative spokesman addressed the issues against the military rules of engagement in Afghanistan and the tactical directives used to implement them.
We have been very clear that our partnership with the Afghan government is a counterinsurgency, or COIN campaign, said Blotz. At the center of this is that we must protect the population, both from the insurgency that preys upon it, and from the unnecessary causalities caused by friendly forces as they fight insurgents.
With regards to the rules of engagement he reiterated that it has remained the same.
Our rules of engagement are solid, and they have not changed, said Blotz. They are based on international law and are standardized across 47 nations, and describe the circumstances and limitations under which forces will begin or continue to engage in combat. This defines theright and left limits of what we will allow our forces to do as they fight.
These limitations are detailed in the tactical directives which give guidance on how the troops should operate while in combat.
He added that the tactical directives tell troops what they should do while the rules of engagement instruct them what they can do. In an example he describes the difference between the two directives.
If our troops are fired upon from a compound, under the laws of armed conflict international law, that compound is a legal target, the general said. However, the current tactical directive will ask our troops to consider the minimal level of force thats required to handle the situation.
In the earlier years there were other methods used which are no longer considered before a less dangerous tactic.
In the distant past we may have used an air strike to engage the enemy in the building which is still an option if the forces are in danger, said Blotz. But it may be possible to resolve the situation with a cordon and a call out by the Afghan National Security Forces. If that option seems viable, the commander should make the decision instead.
At the moment, the application of the current tactical directive is being reviewed to ensure it is consistently being used across our force.
It is important to remember that [ISAF] military forces always retain the right to self defense, if commanders believe their forces are in danger they are required to make decisions to protect themselves, said Blotz..
The general said that ISAFs strategic imperative efforts are important to gain the trust and support of the Afghan partners.
Especially since the Taliban has increased civilian causalities dramatically over the same period, he said. Their tactics are indiscriminate and were working hard to focus the fight on the enemy.
At the press conference Medley discussed the upcoming Kabul Conference where the Government of Afghanistan will present an Afghan-led plan for programs for improving their security, development and governance.
This will be presented as a contract with the Afghan people, Medley added. The international community and donors are expected to support these plans and programs and to adjust their aid efforts to assist the government to deliver services.
He said that NATO actively supports the conference and its outcomes and should be considered a part of a larger transition to Afghans lead and responsibility.
Lets put German Army Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz on the front lines for a month or two and let him use those rules of engagement. If our troops take fire from a building it should be leveled using artillery and/or air. The enemy will soon learn (or die).
I have always supported the Afghan war as proper and necessary and am convinced it can be won if fought using military tactics long associated with the US Armed Forces. That is, attack with overwhelming force using every tool at your disposal.
I am now convinced the war cannot be won if our troops are to be handicapped as described in this posting. If this is to be the way as described, then, reluctantly, I favor bringing our people home and let Afghanistan and Europe suffer the consequences of their politics.
My war was in Korea (52,53)and I can guarantee that if such restriction were placed on the troops there, North Korea/China would own all of the peninsula.
In other words, nothing will change under the new general.