Exclusive: Super Wimps and Gutless Wonders
by ERIC BLEICKEN
December 17, 2009
Editor’s note: Rules of engagement (via Wikipedia): In military or police operations, the rules of engagement (ROE) determine when, where, and how force shall be used. Such rules are both general and specific, and there have been large variations between cultures throughout history. The rules may be made public, as in a martial law or curfew situation, but are typically only fully known to the force that intends to use them. The ROE should comply with the generally accepted martial law.
An article written by Michael Maloof (a former career DoD official) and published on December 13th by World Net Daily, excoriating the administration’s Afghanistan Rules of Engagement (ROEs), reveals just one element of the road to defeat. This madness of tying our brave soldiers up in knots on the field with ridiculous rules that give advantage to the enemy defies the history of human conflict. As a Vietnam Veteran and student of war, I am furious that my son and his fellow warriors in country will be continuously exposed to risks that no honorable military leader, commanding the near monopoly of lethal power that the U.S. military enjoys, should permit. Expanding on Maloof’s list, my son reports that they can no longer drive through the Afghan capital of Kabul using lights and sirens, but must obey local traffic regulations, thus exposing them to one of the enemy’s only effective weapons – vehicular IEDs (improvised explosive devices), the sort which takes so many lives in Iraq.
ROEs are only part of how the administration is handicapping the good guys in the global war against Islamic terrorists.
Ahmed Hashim Abed, (allegedly) responsible for the murder, mutilation and public display of four former SEALs working for Blackwater (whose charred bodies were strung up on a bridge for all to see), allegedly got a bloody nose during his capture …so the SEALs who captured him now face courts martial.
CIA operatives are charged with torture for using approved interrogation procedures on captured enemy combatants – and Khalid Sheik Mohammed, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, is to be tried in a U.S. civil court, conferring upon him the rights and privileges that American citizens uniquely possess under the U.S. Constitution. In fairness and in truth, he and his fellow terrorists don’t even rate the protections of the Geneva Convention as they were not signatories and do not themselves adhere to the rules of civilized men and nations. If we wish for the Geneva Convention to be respected and abided by, it seems basic logic that we should not extend its protections to those who choose to ignore the laws of war – which includes wearing military uniforms and not deliberately targeting innocents. We encourage terrorist acts by treating terrorists with privileges and courtesies that are undeserved – and we undermine the Geneva Convention because there are no penalties associated with disregarding its rules.
The administration should look at what the ageless masters of war have taught us – famous men who today are still studied in serious military academies around the world:
We are not interested in generals who win victories without bloodshed. The fact that slaughter is a horrifying spectacle must make us take war more seriously, but not provide an excuse for gradually blunting our swords in the name of humanity. Sooner or later someone will come along with a sharp sword and hack off our arms. (Carl Von Clausewitz, On War, 1832)
And from the collection of writings attributed to Sun Tzu (The Art of War, 500 BC and earlier) we are warned:
Thus it is said that one who knows the enemy and knows himself will not be endangered in a hundred engagements. One who does not know the enemy but knows himself will sometimes be victorious, sometimes meet with defeat. One who knows neither the enemy nor himself will invariably be defeated in every engagement.
“Destroy the Enemy and his will to fight!” was the order given in WWII that led to victory and to unconditional surrender by the enemy. Had we been given that same order in Vietnam, we could have won at any time within six months of its proclamation. It was the super wimps and gutless wonders – those living safely inside the Beltway – that lost Vietnam, not America's warriors. Today, we are repeating the mistakes of recent history and our administration “knows neither the enemy nor himself.” The White House must issue a simple order to win (in 25 words or less) and then, get the hell out of the way.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Eric Bleicken was an officer with the Underwater Demolitions Teams in Vietnam and a Program Manager at DARPA during the Reagan Administration. His recent work has involved identifying future technologies for the Special Operations Forces.