Have you been following this story? (MSNBC)
U.S. military officials tell NBC News they had “high-level” Taliban fighters in their gunsights during a July reconnaissance flight but decided not to fire. The decision to pass on the target angered some in the military, but commanders say they have “no regrets.”
It seems that after watching them for a while, military command decided that the targets were near a cemetery, and the gathering was likely a funeral. Thus, the rules of engagement didn’t apply:
Even though U.S. military officials in Afghanistan had positively identified those gathered as Taliban fighters, including some “high-level Taliban leaders,” they told NBC News they have “no regrets” in refusing to give the order to attack the gathering.
“Coalition Forces do not discuss rules of engagement; however, they hold themselves to a higher moral and ethical standard than their enemies,” the military said in a statement.
While the sound of that last statement is a warm fuzzy that I’d love to embrace whole-heartedly, the overall situation is, to say the least, befuddling. If we’re at war, and these are positively identified targets, then Polimom must be missing something. (my emphasis)
The current rules of engagement, likely developed by senior Pentagon officials, do not rule out an attack on religious gathering but do generally prohibit an attack on a religious site such as a cemetery or mosque, military analyst and retired Army Col. Jack Jacobs told MSNBC TV.
“The reason for these rules of engagement is that we’re not engaged in a full-out war, where we have unconditional surrender as the objective. In that case we would bomb everyone and sort it out later on,” Jacobs said. “You have a very heavy political component here, and that’s why (the rules of engagement) are difficult to change.”
Yes indeed, I seem to have been missing something important.
So if the Taliban’s unconditional surrender is not the objective of the
war exercise in Afghanistan, then perhaps somebody could remind me what is?