If I had my way, this would be the 3rd article of impeachment, right next to the Benghazi story. In a world where the Legacy Media actually did their job, this would continue to be a news item for some time (and if a Republican was in the White House, you know it would), but a news item over at Breitbart and a related story right here at Human Events got me a bit heated and it was just fortuitous that a friend of the blog will be discussing this on Blog Talk Radio this next week and I would encourage all to tune in to hear what the panelists have to say. I plan on making a little time while at work to have a listen.
But the idea of this discussion about the ROE and this news story about one of our special operators got me to thinking about what a difference in leadership means and how that difference is personified in the way we prosecute the war in Afghanistan.
If the powers that be were to ask me, and I hope someone does, this is how I would do it next time.
1. ROE is disseminated, not printed.
The squad leaders, platoon sergeants, first sergeants and junior leaders of our grandfathers and great grandfathers generation would laugh incredulously and laugh long at the fact that each and every line soldier carries around in their right cargo pocket a double sided and printed card that delineates chapter and verse the situations that you can shoot and not shoot. I am certain that no one was reviewing the ROE before jumping off a Higgins Boat on Utah Beach or Inchon, waiting for the green light before jumping over Normandy, or fighting their way through the Ia Drang Valley. Soldiers today don't need a card because from now on, the Chain of Command will be responsible that every soldier knows the rules; which are thus:
Shoot first, shoot often, and above all just do what makes sense
For instance, would it make sense to spend our time patrolling where the enemy is not? No. Would it make sense to send an infantry soldier when a good old fashioned bomb will do? Yes (right after the shrapnel stops flying). The job of every junior leader is to ensure that every soldier is aware of the ROE, because we are not going to have time once the shooting starts to sit down and have a team building exercise in study hall where we can review the rules and how we might apply them, given our current situation. My Dad always told me "you can't ever go wrong if you do what makes sense."
2. If You Want to Play, Get a Uniform.
This should be a no brainer, but we need to put the pus-nuts and two-bit IED makers on notice that if you don't have the right clothes on when we have our meeting engagement, we are NOT sending those of you that survive your run-in with American Warriors to Gitmo for lemon chicken and US Army rules of interrogation while we fret over your Qurans. We will however, machine gun your corpses repeatedly and burn the remains, regardless of any awareness of cultural sensibilities should you choose to hid amongst the population and cause us to bomb your entire neighborhood just to get you. Since you can pick us out on the battlefield, we want the same courtesy, and if you choose to not play by our rules, then you get no respect from the Geneva Convention, and that is because the Geneva Convention says I don't have to.
3. Leave the Libtard Media at Home
And you could combine this with don't grant them access to anything you want to keep secret. They are populated by the mentally ill and do not have the interests of the country at heart and the idea that soldiers doing soldier stuff would get a fair shake from them regarding anything they report insults our intelligence. A better move might be that if we are forced to take them with us to tell "our story" then let's do it like the networks do the Super Bowl, make them bid for it as the exclusive carrier of those broadcasts and reports. That way, if we find them covering the story from the perspective of our enemy, then we could assign a unit to hunt them down and terminate them with extreme prejudice as a warning to others, and then give the contract to a different network. Their editors despise us, their journalism schools indoctrinate them, and they are generally a pain in the ass so bottom line; our war, our rules and you don't get to report it.
4. Develop A Shift in Thinking In The Officer Corps.
As in, move our paradigm from one of being afraid to smash our enemies to one of only smashing our enemies. Case in Point: Platoon Sergeant of a Cav Trooper tells me one day that while in Iraq, Cav Trooper in an OP spots 4 douchebags who have been driving around with a mortar in the back of their pickup truck dropping rounds on his friends in the FOB, so one day he spots these douchebags about deliver some rounds from their mortar tube on his FOB; so he decides to use his issued Javelin Missile to introduce said douchebags to their well deserved goat virgins and does so in a very deadly and accurate manner (as in "top attack" mode with direct hit on the pickup, Cav Trooper 4, Islamist Douchebags Nil). Was this soldier promoted? Given a Medal? Nope and Nope. Soldier was brought before the brigade commander to explain his actions and then the brigade commander orders all Javelins returned to supply and stored in the ASP. So where did this Brigade Commander get this thinking? I have no clue, but if I was CENTCOM Commander, I would have relieved him and put someone in his place that actually wanted to kill the enemy that was shooting at him. We need to have shift in thinking to one of warfighting instead of one where we consider all the bad things that can go wrong, and that we don't hold up promotions or careers because someone has to make decisions while dealing with ambiguous situations surrounded by the fog of war.
5. "Hearts and Minds" in Any Sense is "Strictly Optional."
I do not subscribe to the thinking by General Colin Powell that "you break it, you bought it." My thinking is more like "You pissed me off enough that I had to come all the way over here to break it, so you clean it up." COIN in some cases is something that can be a very effective tool, but first we have to do some killing, breaking, smashing and invading. Placing the idea that civilians being hurt or killed is more important than our enemy lying dead among them is misguided, especially if you are fighting amongst a people that will walk through the middle of your gun fight as if going to the market on a Saturday Afternoon (true story, happened to me one day). So no, we are not here to help you get clean water and paved roads and cure the diseases that we eradicated long ago, we are here to kill people and break things and when we get done, you will know we have been here.
6. When it comes to Killing, we don't need help.
Mother Green and her Killing Machine have worked out the warmaking to a fine art. We don't need to invite most of NATO and half the UN to our wardance and anyone in whatever craptastic mob passes for an army in whatever craptastic country we find ourselves in getting to help their dudes earn a combat patch. We need to just bring ourselves. Evidently, we are all we need to get the job done.
By following these simple rules, and incorporating these ideas into our force structure and doctrine, a natural transition to this being incorporated into the ROE is just natural, and by instilling it in our politicians and our warriors, America can win the battles that she faces and get back to living peacefully without the ever present threat of 10th century bunghole creepers believing that killing us is better than improving their own country.
Violence isn't the only option, but I want it to be the main option when it comes to warfighting. We owe it to those at the pointy end of the spear especially to keep the faith and let them do their jobs.