2010-09-03 / Letters

Troops Are Hamstrung

Dear Editor,

General Stanley McChrystal was replaced by General David Petraeus because of insubordination expressed by General McChrystal’s staff to a Rolling Stone reporter.

Although extremely poor judgment was exhibited by McChrystal and his staff in giving the interviews, it appears there is sufficient disagreement between our military in Afghanistan and the Obama Administration on the conduct of the war and the strategic decisions handed down by the White House.

The rules of engagement forced on our troops in Afghanistan appear to inhibit their ability to conduct successful operations in pursuit of the Taliban and other terrorist organizations. As Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret stated in Military, August 2010, our soldiers are encumbered “by bizarrely restrictive rules of engagement which make it easier for the enemy to kill them; harder for them to kill the enemy”.

President Obama shifted the strategic advantage to the Taliban and their supporters when he announced to the enemy the deadline for starting the withdrawal of our troops will be July 2011. This announcement gave the Taliban a boost in morale, and the strategic knowledge that if they could hold out to the middle of next year, U.S. troops will be leaving Afghanistan. The Taliban can then be in a better position to launch attacks and try to bring down the Karzai government.

As Jack Kelly stated, the Obama Administration has to “rewrite the rules of engagement and drop the deadline for troop withdrawal”.


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