Rules of engagement

In modern warfare the Rules of Engagement(ROE) have become hanncuffs and in my opinion a desisive factor in the outcome of battles. Most nations that we have encountered on the battle field(a relative term), do not follow any ROE.

The Australians encountered this in Vietnam. The "Team" as they were known, were not the first to realise this, but they were the first to covertly negate them. They felt that if the VC, wanted to "play" war by any means nessaccary, They to would conduct warfare in their theater in the same fashion.

Australia's Commanders in South Vietnam saw great changes in the casualty numbers, of the enemy and less of its own men.

This return to "street fighting" type engagement, led to conflicts between Australia's Commanders and those at MAC V, even though the US commanders agreed that the tactics would have been benneficial, the implications if brought to light on the home front would have been disasterous. This led to a divide between US and Australian Commanders and so on down the chain of command to eventually includethe troops. A conflict began even amungst front line soldiers, that colminated in teh Australians engaging in huge fights. One such altercation ended with a regiment from 6 RAR, ejecting a platoon of US Marines from their own mess hall.

Although, the eventual withdrawl of Austalian Troops from Vietnam was considered to be from growing pressure of Austalia's public on the Government, as well as a view of the war being "un winnable". It has been rumoured around certain circles that the US politely asked the Austalian Government to pull out, due to the fact that they viewed The RAR Troops as uncontollable.

I have always thought that the ROE was a set of handcuffs, a sort of moral code of conduct to make ourselves feel better about how we conduct war.

Ok, if you waded through that, this is my question. As much as the ROE seperates "us" from "them", do you believe that the US could have won the war in Vietnam, and in our time, do you think if we were to opt out of the Geneiva convention and scrap the ROE, do you think we could win the now "un winnable" Afghan war and completely free Iraq?
I would say no.

Why. Because then you wouldn't be the 'civilizing' nation that you want to show the Iraqis and Afghanis. You will have more enemies because you will undoubtedly kill more civilians then the intended target, and there would be no way to prosecute someone who commits war crimes because it is basically saying, okay one of our guys got killed, lets slaughter that whole village.

Its what the Russians used in Afghianstan and they lost horribly.
What exactly are you saying though. The ROE doesnt allow us to fight? can you explain that a little better.
Quote: Originally Posted by EastSideScotianView Post

What exactly are you saying though. The ROE doesnt allow us to fight? can you explain that a little better.

Oh we can fight, but most of our enemy combatants on the modern "battle field" do not follow the same rules. They use human shields to thwart our advances. Now I'm not saying we should do just that, but in the same light, the collateral damage that effects us so deeply on the even news is interprited by the general public as horrific. Carpet bombing a nation back to the stone age, simply saves our lives.

Firing only when fired upon, does not.

Now that is a generic line of thinking, but it is extremely difficult to disect the ROE.

It has become the laws of warfare. Isreal does it best. 1000 of yours for 1 of ours.

Safeguarding certain fundamental human rights of persons who fall into the hands of the enemy, particularly prisoners of war, the wounded and sick, and civilians.

Standing orders have and continue to kill Troops and allow the wholesale slaughter of civilians. Rawanda.

Military personal in a combat theater are hampered by the capture and subsiquent confinement or prisoners of war.

Targets aborted because the fear of high civilian casualties.

It is a pity the enemy does not feel the same way.

War should be like the prisons of old, scary. A country should be absolutely terrified to attemp to annex, harrass, or otherwise begin conflict with a Nation, because of the possible out come.

Now remember, before you jump on me, that I am not insinuating the absolute removal of the ROE, but the possible rewriting, to face the thruth about modern warfare.

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