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Posts Tagged ‘rules of engagement’

Los Angeles Times
By David S. Cloud
November 1, 2010
Reporting from Washington

U.S. and allied forces have failed to reduce the number of civilian fatalities caused by them in Afghanistan despite a two-year effort by American commanders, internal U.S. military statistics show.

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AP

By ALFRED de MONTESQUIOU

DAHANEH, Afghanistan — The British jet called in by the U.S. Marines had the Taliban position in site, but the pilot refused to fire, a decision that frustrated Marines on the ground but one in line with new orders by the top U.S. commander to protect civilians.

The Marines themselves didn’t attack militants shooting at them Wednesday because women and children were in the compound, an approach meant to avoid civilian casualties at all costs.

“They did that on purpose,” sniper platoon leader 1st Lt. Joseph Cull, 28, of Delafield, Wisconsin, said of the Taliban. “They are trying to bait us.”

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, has made protecting Afghan civilians his top priority. The approach is a shift away from a military mindset whose traditional first response has been to kill as many militants as possible. By holding fire McChrystal hopes to avoid the massive civilian casualty cases of past months and years and help win over Afghan villagers. (more…)

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