I still want to know why some generals haven't resigned rather than give out these orders, and then said something about it.
Reports indicate U.S. soldiers and British Royal Marines have been urged to show "courageous constraint" by not shooting Taliban members spotted planting IEDs.
The reason? Shooting them might disturb the locals.
I'm just going to borrow some bits from the linked article, because if I start trying to write what I think it'll devolve into bad language and become somewhat incoherent.
U.S. military chiefs ordered troops
to exercise 'courageous constraint' and even warned them they could be
charged with murder if they shot any Taliban without permission from
The claims were
made by a former Royal Marine who spoke out following the inquest into
the death of Sergeant Peter Rayner last week.
The 34-year-old phoned his wife in a
‘highly stressed’ state four days before his death and was upset that
his fears were not taken seriously.
She said he and his men had watched the
enemy, using night-vision goggles, plant improvised explosive devices
and were not allowed to attack them. He was allegedly told by one
officer: ‘I am an Army Captain and you will do your job.’
He also reveals how they were told
not to shoot or use mortars for illumination when they came across
Taliban soldiers in an area full of hidden explosive devices.
Mr Smith wrote at the time: 'After a few days it becomes apparent that when we positively identify people we cannot open fire!'
He told the newspaper: 'In Kajaki I saw Taliban digging in IEDs and was denied the chance to do anything about it for fear of upsetting the locals. Permission to open fire was denied as it would alarm the population.'
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said
it had not seen the soldier's diary but it could be a loose
interpretation of courageous restraint.
Which is a weasel-wording way of saying "It's all true, but we won't say that outright."
And I can say that I heard from a troop who'd been in Afghanistan that they were told that even if a enemy fired on them, if they returned fire without first getting permission from an officer they could be court-martialed.
Personal opinion: the officers carrying-out and enforcing this, apparently with nobody being willing to say or do anything, suck. They're getting troops killed. And the politicians behind this... I consider this at least to be 'aid and comfort to the enemy'; at most treason(what the hell else would you call it?)