I am a retired veteran’s counselor with over 20 years of direct service to our service personnel. Most of these years were spent working with Vietnam combat veterans. Vietnam was and is a deep scar on many of our veterans. A big reason for the scars from this war was the way it was fought. You cannot have a war where the people in the mix need to call in and ask permission to kill the enemy. That is pure insanity. You cannot have a war where you have no fire zones. You cannot have a war where there are ‘rules of engagement’. The rule of engagements must be to simply kill the enemy. You cannot have a polite war. You cannot have a war where you keep giving secured territory back to the enemy. If you are going to have a war then HAVE A WAR! As I listen to this administration and its talk about combatting ISIS I hear too many echoes of Vietnam.
We do not need to send one soldier into a war with ISIS if there is going to be restrictions in battle. If that soldier is not permitted to actually confront, battle and kill the enemy. If our soldiers are going to battle ISIS then there must be no Mosque that is off limits. If a solder sees a combatant taking shelter in a Mosque then that soldier should be able to flatten that Mosque. If a combatant is running into a housing area then any damage to that housing area is the responsibility of that combatant and not the fault of the soldier. A soldier is a soldier and not a cop. No soldier should ever have to worry about reading any rights to a captured combatant. The combatant has not rights. The soldier is going to have high emotions. If the soldier smacks a captured combatant in the mouth for making fun of the way a fellow soldier died the fault for him getting smacked falls on the combatant and not a lack of restraint on the part of the soldier.
If this administration wants boots on the ground in the battle against ISIS then leave the leadership to the generals who are also on the ground. No politician knows what is needed in a combat zone. Leave the leadership to those who equally have their lives in the same level of jeopardy. You cannot lead a war from the safety of a soft office. There must be no concern about insulting Islam. There cannot be any concern about whether a soldier yelled an insult to a combatant. War produces anger. Anger produces insults. You cannot be worried if a veteran in the mix of a firefight calls a follower of Islam a ‘raghead’. Again, you cannot have a polite war. The only thing that matters in a war if that you kill more of the enemy than they do of you. You cannot have little compounds where the enemy knows you are confined to and thus allowing them a good opportunity to kill many GIs at one time. You cannot give ‘indigenous personnel’ unlimited access because you want to win the hearts and minds. Learn from Vietnam. How many soldiers died because the indigenous personnel were spies in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan?
If America is going to send boots on the ground to right ISIS there must be only three rules of engagement: 1. Seek the enemy 2. Find the enemy 3. Kill the enemy. If our soldiers send more of the enemy home in body bags than they do of our soldiers then we will defeat ISIS. If we try and have a polite and nice little war that never offends anyone then we need to keep our soldiers home. At present this administration has never given any real idea that they actually want to defeat and kill ISIS. This administration has been more concerned with not insulting Islam than they have of wanting to remove ISIS and radical Islam. Until this administration actually begins to show that they really want to get serious with removing radical Islam and ISIS then our soldiers stay right here at home.