Reading Erik Prince’s book on Blackwater "Civilian Warriors" and discovered that one of the things that made his company a success was the Cole bombing. For those who don’t remember the Cole, that was an American destroyer refueling at Aden which was attacked and nearly sunk by a small boat manned by suicide bombers and laden with explosives that blew a 40 by 40 foot hole in the ship, killing 17 and injuring 39. A report later concluded that even if the captain and crew had followed all the rules regarding ship protection, the “rules of engagement” would still have allowed the bombers to blow up the ship.
The destroyer's rules of engagement, as approved by the Pentagon, kept its guards from firing upon the small boat (which was not known to be loaded with explosives) as it neared them without first obtaining permission from the Cole's captain or another officer.Petty Officer John Washak said that right after the blast, a senior chief petty officer ordered him to turn an M-60 machine gun on the Cole's fantail away from a second small boat approaching. "With blood still on my face," he said, he was told: "That's the rules of engagement: no shooting unless we're shot at." He added, "In the military, it's like we're trained to hesitate now. If somebody had seen something wrong and shot, he probably would have been court-martialed." Petty Officer Jennifer Kudrick said that if the sentries had fired on the suicide craft "we would have gotten in more trouble for shooting two foreigners than losing seventeen American sailors."
As a result of the Cole bombing, the Navy contracted with Blackwater to teach its sailors to shoot.
It seems that the Obama administration is determined to make American servicemen targets in an Afghan shooting gallery. From the Washington Times
The new U.S.-Afghanistan security agreement adds restrictions on already bureaucratic rules of engagement for American troops by making Afghan dwellings virtual safe havens for the enemy, combat veterans say.The rules of engagement place the burden on U.S. air and ground troops to confirm with certainty that a Taliban fighter is armed before they can fire — even if they are 100 percent sure the target is the enemy. In some cases, aerial gunships have been denied permission to fire even though they reported that targets on the move were armed.The proposed Bilateral Security Agreement announced Wednesday by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Secretary of State John F. Kerry all but prohibits U.S. troops from entering dwellings during combat. President Obama made the vow directly to Mr. Karzai.I wonder what the rules of engagement are for Obama’s Secret Service escort.“U.S. forces shall not enter Afghan homes for the purposes of military operations, except under extraordinary circumstances involving urgent risk to life and limb of U.S. nationals,” Mr. Obama pledged in a letter to the Afghan leader.Ryan Zinke, who commanded an assault team within SEAL Team 6, said of the security deal: “The first people who are going to look at it and review it are the enemy we’re trying to fight. It’s going to be a document that can be used effectively against us. This is where we either fight or go home. What’s happening is we’re losing our ability to fight overseas.”
I wonder what the rules of engagement are for Obama’s Secret Service escort.