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Home The Feuilleton of MilSan and MikWag Asymmetrical Rules of Engagement -or- American Exceptionalism Strikes Again

Asymmetrical Rules of Engagement -or- American Exceptionalism Strikes Again

MikWag’s initial reaction to the evolving story about the rescue of the two downed F-15 pilots in Libya:

 

President Obama: When the U.S. Marine Corp strafed and/or bombed civilians during a downed pilot recovery, the U.S. was in violation of U.N. resolution 1973.  The resolution gives you the authority to act to protect civilians, but you also incur a responsibility not to kill civilians while recovering aircrews.

 

Marines:  Your actions tell the world that one American life is worth the life of an entire village.  You expressed the same value proposition in Vietnam.

 

Generals:  Because the Marines have shown that they cannot handle this responsibility, the U.S. has no other choice than to change its CONOPS to “No rescue missions for pilots” or its Rules of Engagement for search and rescue missions to match the rules for bombing runs and cruise missile attacks:  Do not fire until you know that civilians will not be hit.

 

JAGs: Somebody in the chain of command between the President and the gunners exceeded his authority or neglected his duty.  You must investigate.

 

After dialectic with MilSan:

 

The civilians who were injured and maimed while trying to assist the downed pilots want a better life for their families.   Many of them have already risked their lives to obtain it.  It is for this reason that they are of one voice in not criticizing the U.S. They do not want the American public to clamor for disengagement.

 

In the end, the unfortunate result of this event will be that civilians won’t approach downed coalition aviators.  The only people that will approach them will be Qaddafi mercenaries (they're on the payroll, hence the term).

 

The Rules of Engagement for rescue missions should still match the rules for bombing runs and cruise missile attacks:  Do not fire until you know that civilians will not be hit.