Actually, I think the so-called “brass” need to be hammered flat like their namesake metal, but let’s move on.
During the awful Obama years, it became obvious that soldiers were not, in fact, supposed to really act like soldiers. And when they did, the criteria for punishment were not “this is what happens on a battlefield” but instead, “it’s not a battlefield, it’s a garden party.”
Soldiers got prosecuted for shooting bad guys because said bad guys hadn’t actually done anything bad, yet. In WWII terms, this would have equated to not gunning down a column of advancing Nazi bastards because they hadn’t started shooting, yet.
Which as any fule kno, is ridiculous except when Obama-era senior officers say it isn’t. Here’s the story behind the conviction of one unfortunate officer:
He ordered his men to shoot three Taliban insurgents who were charging at his platoon on a motorcycle in Afghanistan on July 2, 2012.
The Taliban did not heed orders to stop. Lorance could have let them men pass and possibly kill some of his own American soldiers by blowing themselves up with a suicide bomb (as has happened in other cases) or by gunfire. He chose to stop them and save American lives.
Sending a soldier to prison for defending his troops in a war zone should never have happened and should never happen again.
God-Emperor Trump, however, seems to know what’s what, and has pardoned or reinstated those unfortunate soldiers who fell foul of the Obama milquetoast rules of engagement.
And it’s about time. He should have done it on Day One of his presidency, is my only criticism.
Now the next item should be to go after the fucking officers (up to and including generals) who approved both the rules of engagement and this travesty of justice — it’s the .dotmil, there’s a signature on a document somewhere — and either demote them or toss their asses out. And the sooner the better.
We need fighting spirit in our senior officer corps, not rules-bound wokeness and pussyfooting.
I’m never been part of the military, but really, shouldn’t the “hearts and minds” slogan really be related to target areas, not winning people over?
The interesting thing about your blog Kim is that, upon reading the title of this post I don’t know if it’s going to be about the subject you wrote on, or an issue with using or reloading Mil Surp ammo. (either would have been fine with me)
My only suggestion would be to change up to and including generals to something like “starting with the Generals and working down the food chain”. I would also suggest a purging of the JAG corps (9 out of 10 would be a good start) to remind them they have an advisory role, are not in the chain of the command and have no legal authority when it comes to operational doctrine.
Ah, slam them into fatigues and send them to some appropriately “hot” LZ to remind them of the job of the soldiers and marines under their command. They’ve obviously forgotten what their role is in helping the soldiers and marines under their command to accomplish the goals they assign them. Untoward accidents and wounds are to be considered object lessons in the training.
Don Curton, the entire phrase is “When you’ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.”
RandyGC, I agree with you about the JAG Corps, and have felt that way since all this mess started. Early on, there was a unit whose snipers couldn’t get their hands on ammunition, so they were de-linking 7.62 ammo. A JAG-off threatened to court-martial them for violations of the Hague Accord, because “that’s machine-gun ammunition!” I’m pretty sure a SNCO took him(?) aside and explained Life in the Big City before the JAG-off made a complete fool of the Corps.
I have become convinced that no officer should be admitted to the JAG Corps until he has served a year in a combat unit. The Laws of Land Warfare are intended to be a rough-and-ready code for troops in the field, not a plaything for lawyers behind the lines.
Oorah!, especially on the part of canning the sr. occifiers who signed off on the persecution of Lorance. And I’ll double-down on no JAG-off’s that haven’t done a combat tour as a front-line, tip-of-the-spear leader.
LTC (ret.) Tom Kratman has some thoughts along these lines, particularly in his Carreraverse series of books.
A friend of mine was a two tour in Iraq platoon sergeant, medically retired for a wound received during his second deployment.
He was telling me about the ridiculous ROEs; e.g., in 2006, a bullet smacked the Humvee window right next to his head as he was getting in the back door to start a patrol right outside their compound. He saw a man with a rifle turn and run, had to be the shooter, and he told me he could have taken aim and dropped the guy easily (my friend still owns everything he can see within 150 yds), but ROE said he had to return fire only if he saw the bad guy shooting at him. He started to give chase, but an Iraqi friendly down the road who saw the whole thing shot and killed the bad guy, saving my friend a bunch of trouble.
My friend said a female JAG officer was present at every patrol briefing, and put his guys to sleep going over the ridiculous rules of engagement. He said she took herself very seriously, lecturing them like a TV schoolmarm talking to a bunch of kids.
At the next patrol briefing after the above incident, he called her aside, and told her “M’aam, our job is damned dangerous, and my job is to get these kids home in one piece, and I’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen. If you don’t like what we do, I’ll take full responsibility for it, but don’t you mess with my boys. They’re going home in one piece.” She didn’t like it, but her briefings got shorter and more perfunctory. My friend said she never went on a patrol either, not that he’d want her along, as she’d be a liability.
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