American Elephants


Terrorism, War, and The Rules of Engagement. by The Elephant's Child
January 17, 2010, 7:52 pm
Filed under: Iraq, Islam, Military, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

The Defense Department released a report on the Islamist-terror massacre at Fort Hood yesterday.  Ralph Peters comments:  “There are two basic problems with the grotesque non-report on the Islamist-terror massacre at Fort Hood.  1) It’s not about what happened at Fort Hood.  2) It avoids entirely the issue of why it happened.” Here are some of the points he makes:

  • “Protecting the Force: Lessons From Fort Hood” never mentions Islamist terror. Its 86 mind-numbing pages treat “the alleged perpetrator,” Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, as just another workplace shooter.
  • The teensy bit of specific criticism is reserved for the “military medical officer supervisors” in Maj. Hasan’s chain of command at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. As if the problem started and ended there.
  • The answer is straightforward: Hasan’s superiors feared — correctly — that any attempt to call attention to his radicalism or to prevent his promotion would backfire on them, destroying their careers, not his.
  • This is a military that imposes rules of engagement that protect our enemies and kill our own troops and that court-martials heroic SEALs to appease a terrorist. Ain’t many colonels willing to hammer the Army’s sole Palestinian-American psychiatrist.
  • The Fort Hood massacre didn’t reflect an intelligence failure. The intelligence was there, in gigabytes. This was a leadership failure and an ethical failure, at every level. Nobody wanted to know what Hasan was up to
  • To be fair, there’s a separate, classified report on Maj. Hasan himself. But it’s too sensitive for the American people to see. Does it even hint he was a self-appointed Islamist terrorist committing jihad? I’ll bet it focuses on his “personal problems.”

At PowerLine, Paul Mirengoff reports on the Reclaim American Liberty conference in New York on Wednesday, and key panelist Col. Allen West

Col. Allen West (U.S. Army Ret.) was blunt about our military’s rules of engagement — they are not suited for the 21st century battlefield and they put our troops in danger.  On the 21st Century battlefield, our enemy has removed its uniforms and taken to hiding among the population.  Our rules of engagement enable them to obtain an advantage by adopting these tactics.

West noted that in a fire-fight, our troops typically have about five seconds before the dying starts.  Yet, we require them to hold their fire until the intentions of the enemy have been verified and the potential for collateral has been assessed.  This can’t be done in five seconds.  Thus, our troops are at a significant disadvantage.

In addition, when the enemy holes up in a mosque, we cannot attack.  Thus the enemy is able to use our own “politically correct” rules against us .  (…)

The same lesson applies to the homeland, which West correctly considers part of the 21st century battle field.  The Fort Hood massacre illustrates the point.  In this instance, political correctness prevented us from dealing with the enemy before he dealt with us.

Victor Davis Hanson comments:

We are back in a such a sorta, kinda war against radical Islam — whose name we almost never reference. We send more troops into Afghanistan, but only on the condition that we announce deadlines when they will start leaving. We damn the now-successful Iraq War as ill-conceived and not worth the effort, even as we stay in Iraq and consider the present calm and enduring democracy a (quiet) success.

The president has libeled tribunals, renditions, the Patriot Act, Predator attacks, wiretaps, and intercepts as either shredding the Constitution or unfairly persecuting Muslims — only to keep all these protocols intact. Obama loudly promised the whiny Europeans and the angry Terrorism, WarIslamic world that he would close the supposed gulag at Guantanamo within a year — and then found he could not do without its apparent utility. (…)
So when Barack Obama had his administration scrap the Manichean “war on terror” for “overseas contingency operations” aimed against “man-made disasters,” we understood that he had not signed up for a serious effort against radical Islam.

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