We are seeing the results of the tightened Rules of Engagement now in place in Afghanistan and they need a bit of work. The concept is valid, but the implementation is not correct yet. This story of Gen. Zinni's son calling a lawyer for permission to call in an air strike is ridiculous.
When Capt. Zinni spotted the four men planting the booby trap on the afternoon of Feb. 17, the first thing he did was call his lawyer. "Judge!" he yelled. Capt. Matthew Andrew, judge advocate for 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, advises the battalion about when it is legal to order the airstrikes. He examined the figures on the video feed closely. "I think you got it," Capt. Andrew said, giving the OK for the strike.The onus is on Gen. McChrystal to ensure that all his officers understand his intent and do not overly restrict their troops from taking necessary steps. We want to win hearts and minds, but we are still at war. I don't think the implementation of these rules has been well done, but it is definitely the right call. It is vital that the company grade officers be empowered to use the force they are authorized and need. These rules allow them what they need, but only if the gutless weasels on staff are stopped from leaving them flappin' in the breeze.