Tuesday, June 23, 2009
UPDATE AFGHANISTAN: GEN STANLEY McCHRYSTAL
STORMBRINGER already alerted on how General McChrystal’s politically correct instincts resulted in the Pat Tillman Silver star fiasco.
So what’s the deal with McChrystal’s initial command guidance to US and NATO forces in Afghanistan?
NEW US BATTLE RULE: NO FIGHTING NEAR AFGHAN HOMES
The top U.S. general in Afghanistan will soon formally order U.S. and NATO forces to break away from fights with militants hiding in Afghan houses so the battles do not kill civilians, a U.S. official said Monday . . .
. . . McChrystal will issue orders within days saying troops may attack insurgents hiding in Afghan houses if the U.S. or NATO forces are in imminent danger and must return fire, said U.S. military spokesman Rear Adm. Greg Smith.
"But if there is a compound they're taking fire from and they can remove themselves from the area safely, without any undue danger to the forces, then that's the option they should take," Smith said. "Because in these compounds we know there are often civilians kept captive by the Taliban."
General Stanley McChrystal has just broken a combination of Rules No 2 and No 3 of Sean Linnane’s 3 Rules of Leadership:
#1 Never Lie to the Troops
#2 Never tell a man to do anything you’re not willing to do yourself.
#3 Never Give an Order you know won’t be obeyed.
McChrystal's command guidance forces combat commanders and NCOs to modify their behavior, to seek loopholes – in military planning terms, this General Officer guidance is known as an artificial constraint.
General McChrystal's order basically outlines tactical guidance for the enemy: if you were the Taliban, where would you initiate all contact from now on?
This order will cause our forces to hesitate under fire, and in combat hesitation is fatal.
Essentially, we've just instituted the same self-imposed "no-fire" zones that assisted our Communist enemies in Vietnam.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who took command of international forces in Afghanistan this month, has said his measure of effectiveness will be the "number of Afghans shielded from violence," and not the number of militants killed.
I agree with one aspect of this sentence: in war, body count math is not a measure of victory.