” The number of U.S. battlefield fatalities exceeded the rate at which troop strength surged in 2009 and 2010, prompting national security analysts to assert that coinciding stricter rules of engagement led to more deaths.
A connection between the sharp increase in American deaths and restrictive rules of engagement is difficult to confirm. More deaths surely stemmed from ramped-up counterterrorism raids and the Taliban’s response with more homemade bombs, the No. 1 killer of NATO forces in Afghanistan.
But it is clear that the rules of engagement, which restrain troops from firing in order to spare civilian casualties, cut back on airstrikes and artillery strikes — the types of support that protect troops during raids and ambushes.
“ In Afghanistan, the [rules of engagement] that were put in place in 2009 and 2010 have created hesitation and confusion for our war fighters,” said Wayne Simmons, a retired U.S. intelligence officer who worked in NATO headquarters in Kabul as the rules took effect, first under Army Gen. Stanley M. McChrystal, then Army Gen. David H. Petraeus.
“ It is no accident nor a coincidence that from January 2009 to August of 2010, coinciding with the Obama/McChrystal radical change of the [rules of engagement], casualties more than doubled,” Mr. Simmons said. “The carnage will certainly continue as the already fragile and ineffective [rules] have been further weakened by the Obama administration as if they were playground rules.” “
The two graphs below offer a stark picture of the Obama administration’s record in Afghanistan . While President “Peace Prize” immediately instituted a troop surge and over the course of his first two years in office more than doubled the amount of boots on the ground , he simultaneously tied the troops hands with prohibitive rules of engagement thus insuring a huge increase in troop deaths .
It’s the same old Democratic story that we witnessed with the Clinton presidency … the desire to seem tough and responsive in the defense of our country without taking the political risk of losing troops . Think Mogadishu ROE and the cruise missile strikes against aspirin factories in Sudan and empty mountaintops in Afghanistan .
After doubling the troop deployment from 2008 to 2010 and then instituting the very restrictive ROE for the coalition troops it is no wonder that troop fatalities rose dramatically .
The above graph shows that while US troop deaths are finally declining that is more a result of less aggressive soldiering and less patrolling than it is due to more effective rules of engagement .
While the Obama administration makes a great showing of being sensitive to “collateral damage” in Afghanistan as a reason for the more dangerous , to our troops anyway , rules of engagement it shows no such concern for the deaths of innocents when it comes to the use of drones to do it’s killing .
While increasing amounts of American soldiers were dying in order to spare the lives of non-combatants in Afghanistan Obama had no problem with the killing in indiscriminate fashion of civilians across Africa and the near east through it’s use of drones as the below table ably demonstrates .
“Peace loving” Obama has taken the strikes and targeted killings to astronomical heights as compared to that “war mongering” ex-president Bush killing nearly five times as many victims in less time .
For more on Obama’s drone strike policy and to see where and when the strikes are taking place you can go here and here and here . This is not a record the “Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave” should be proud of .