There has been a lot of talk about weapons carry status for our troops in Afghanistan and whether they are being told to carry in amber status i.e. no round in the chamber. I asked ISAF HQ and got the following response.
Headquarters ISAF, the ISAF Joint Command and the Regional Commands have not issued guidance to units instructing them to conduct patrols without rounds chambered. Force protection levels are dictated by the local threats and determined by commanders at the lowest possible tactical level, so without knowing the specific unit from which this report came I can't verify with absolute certainty that verbal or written guidance has not been issued locally. But the intent to subordinate commanders should be clear. At no time do we remove our troops' inherent rights of self-defense, and we are confident that their training and discipline allows them to use force discriminately within the rules of engagement. We'd welcome information from anyone who has a problem with the way guidance is being implemented that they haven't been able to address with their immediate chain of command.
So it is not policy for the theater and they are clear about the fact that our troops always have the ability to defend themselves. If it is happening it is being done at a tactical command level. I have not heard of any specific units that have done this. I think there would be a big difference between carrying in amber status while riding in up-armored vehicles v. carrying amber while on a foot patrol. I am OK with the first and vehemently opposed to the second. If anyone has word about something like that happening email me and I will pass it on to these folks. Next slide.
Greyhawk has a fun piece about Patton and carry status.