In the 7 years, from 2001 to 2008, US Military Personnel engaged in combat in Afghanistan operated under the “standard” Rules Of Engagement (ROE) that the military always operated under; during those 7 years, 630 US Military Personnel were Killed In Action (KIA). In 2009, Obama imposed new and “dangerous” ROE on US Military Personnel operating in combat in Afghanistan, over the next 5 years, from 2009 thru 2013, 2,292 personnel were KIA. The increase in KIAs for Combat personnel who had previously operated under the “standard” ROE, jumped from 90/year during the first 7 years, to 458/year over the next 5 years employing Obama’s new and “dangerous” ROE—–an increase in 458% in KIAs.
According to CNS News.com, 19,080 US Military Personnel have been casualties in Afghanistan since 2001; CNS News.com further reported that 73% of all casualties in Afghanistan occurred from 2009 thru 2013, the time frame when Obama’s new and “dangerous” ROE were forced upon US military personnel engaged in combat. The increase in casualties for US Combat personnel who were operating under the new and “dangerous” ROE jumped from 5,151 during the first 7 years, to 13,928 over the next 5 years (many of those casualties were maimed for life), the annual casualty rate has gone from 736/year when they were operating under the “standard” ROE to 2785/year when they had to employ Obama’s new and “dangerous” ROE—an increase of 378%/year for Combat personnel Wounded In Action.
Apologists for the Obama administration might say there were more casualties because of an increase in tempo of operations; the tempo of operations might have increased somewhat, but the tempo operations did not increase by 378%.
The below listed article will put a face on the above listed statistics on Killed In Action numbers, and number of casualties, as a result the new and “dangerous” Rules Of Engagement imposed upon military personnel engaged in combat by the then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mullen. General Mullen never saw ground combat, but followed in lock step with how the occupant in the Oval Office wanted the Rules Of Engagement changed, and he didn’t carefully evaluate how those devastating changes would dramatically increase the casualties of combat personnel going into “Harm’s Way” daily, or how the new and “dangerous” would degrade the Combat Effectiveness of the finest tip of the spear military units in the world.
Two well-known losses of combat personnel are examples of how the imposition of the new and “dangerous” ROE forced on combat personnel increased the dangerous environment on the battlefield. The first example was depicted in the movie “Lone Survivor” where the fear of being charged by civilians in the Pentagon with war crimes, if they silenced a hostile Afghani, resulted in compromising an entire operation and resulted in the death of 3 SEALs. The second event, Extortion 17, occurred because the request for suppression fire at a landing zone, that used to be normally approved to allow a helicopter to land in a hot zone, was denied by senior commanders because of the new and “dangerous” ROE. That lack of support resulted in the loss of 48 military personnel flying on Extortion 17 (those killed included 16 members of SEAL Team SIX, 20 Spec Ops Warriors, 5 helo crew members, and 7 Afghani military allies); Extortion 17 was the largest loss of life of US military personnel in one day in the 13 year history of combat operations in Afghanistan. There have been thousands of incidents over the last 5 years that resulted in casualties that could have been avoided, if the “standard” ROE were being employed.
The occupant of the Oval Office has let it be known that he welcomes debate, but won’t tolerate dissent; the past 5 years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan has taught the combatant commanders not to complain about the ROE (because they knew of the unusually high number of commanders that had been relieved in the midst of their tours). Sound judgment was not exhibited by Mullen when he imposed the new and “dangerous” Rules Of Engagement on the US military by Obama—he should have had the courage to resign to demonstrate his opposition to Rules of Engagement that would result in killing so many of the Republic’s finest warriors. Each year since 2008 when the new and “dangerous” Rules of Engagement took effect, 2049 more military personnel per year have been Wounded In Action each year for 5 years (a total of 10,245 more personnel have been wounded and/or maimed for life) which is an increase of 378%. Each year since 2008 when the new and “dangerous” Rules Of Engagement took effect, 368 more military personnel have been Killed In Action each year for 5 years (a total of 1840 more personnel have been killed) which is an increase of 458%. The unacceptable number of casualties continues to increase, while the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hasn’t made a concerted effort to change the dangerous Rules Of Engagement that US Military personnel, engaged in combat, are required to operate under.
US SOLDIERS IN AFGHANISTAN ARE NOW FORCED TO FIGHT A TWO-FRONTED WAR
Written by Billy & Karen Vaughn on Friday, 14 February 2014.
OUR BEST AND BRIGHTEST COME HOME IN BODY BAGS AS POLITICIANS AND LAWYERS DINE OVER WHITE LINEN TABLECLOTHS; WRITING, MODIFYING, AND RE-MODIFYING THESE LETHAL RULES…RULES THAT FAVOR THE ENEMY RATHER THAN THE AMERICAN SOLDIER.
US soldiers in Afghanistan are now forced to fight a two-fronted war. Before each deployment, these soldiers understand fully that day after day they will do battle against relentless terrorists with shifting loyalties and unspeakable hatred. But what none of them could have foreseen was the killing field that would open from their rear…the Continental United States.
Our government’s incessant tightening of already restrictive ROE (Rules of Engagement), compounded by the failed COIN (Counterinsurgency) strategy—also known as “winning hearts and minds,” has made an otherwise primitive enemy formidable.
Our best and brightest come home in body bags as politicians and lawyers dine over white linen tablecloths; writing, modifying, and re-modifying these lethal rules…rules that favor the enemy rather than the American soldier. Rules so absurd they’re difficult to believe until you hear the same stories over and again from those returning from battle.
In a delicate discussion with an Army Ranger who recently left the military, we heard the following: “I had to get out. I have a family who needs me. I didn’t join to be sacrificed. I joined to fight.” This decision came shortly after he lost a close friend to the ROE. He went on to explain: the Taliban had attempted an ambush on his friend’s squad, but quickly realized they were in a battle they couldn’t win and began retreating. While chasing them, the US soldiers were ordered not to engage due to the slight chance the Taliban had laid down their arms as they ran through some type of shack. While arguing with leadership at the JOC (Joint Operations Center) his friend was shot and killed.
A Navy SEAL who left his job only a few years shy of full retirement said the following: “I got out because I couldn’t take it anymore. We tried to explain how much reckless danger we were being exposed to and they told us we were being illogical.”
This type of response has created a growing compromise of confidence between our war fighters and senior military leadership. His argument wasn’t illogical at all.
A gut-wrenching pattern began forming in early 2009…a pattern completely ignored by Congress, the White House, and apparently the DOD.
In the first seven plus years of war in Afghanistan (October, 2001 – December, 2008) we lost 630 US soldiers. In early 2009, this administration authorized the implementation of the COIN strategy. Over the next five years, the US death toll skyrocket to 2,292.
Seventy-three percent of all US deaths in Afghanistan have taken place since 2009.
In the first seven plus years of war in Afghanistan, 2,638 US soldiers were wounded in action. In the next forty-five months (2009 – 2012) an additional 15,036 suffered the same fate.
Liars figure, but figures don’t lie.
While concern over being killed due to these policies weighs heavy on the minds of those we’ve spoken with, the deepest pit-in-the-stomach comes from fear of prosecution should they violate these absurd and ever-changing ROE. The last thing a war fighter should ever be forced to experience is unnecessary fear.
Fear creates hesitation. Hesitation creates flag-draped caskets. Flag-draped caskets create fatherless children, widowed wives, and childless parents. Our heroes deserve the right to fight with swift hands, clear minds, and confident hearts.
However, today’s war fighters have the grave misfortune of serving leaders who elevate the virtues of inaction over action. The message? If you dare use your training or your gut instinct, if you have the fortitude to fight for your life, or the desire to kill the enemy, there is a good chance you will be punished.
The physiological capacities of a true patriot cannot tolerate the vile stench of injustice, especially when perpetrated against those who defend us. Its wretched aroma permeates the core and demands a response.
We’re counting on you, the American patriot, for that response. We must defend our defenders. Please, spread the news and demand change.