10 years ago
The Intelligence Bulletin is an aggregation and commentary series, and this is the fourth entry in that series.
Intelligence Bulletin #4 covers the following subjects:  Petraeus addresses rules of engagement,  Iranian nuclear program,  Chlorine gas attacks in Iraq,  Continued insurgent activity inside Mosques,  Iranian and Syrian threats in the covert war,  Ongoing coverage of the covert war against the CIA,  Continuing coverage of Anbar tribesmen in their battles against AQI,  Insurgents use women and children as shields,  Sadr’s Long Game, and  Thoughts on Walter Reed scandal.
Petraeus Addresses Rules of Engagement
Rules of engagement (ROE), highly criticized as being too restrictive and sometimes endangering our troops, have been “clarified.” “There were unintended consequences with ROE for too long,” Petraeus acknowledged. Because of what junior leaders perceived as too harsh punishment meted out to troops acting in the heat of battle, the ROE issued from the top commanders were second-guessed and made more restrictive by some on the ground. The end result was unnecessary – even harmful – restrictions placed on the troops in contact with the enemy.
“I’ve made two things clear,” Petraeus emphasized: “My ROE may not be modified with supplemental guidance lower down. And I’ve written a letter to all Coalition forces saying ‘your chain-of-command will stay with you.’ I think that solved the issue.”
In our rules of engagement coverage, we have argued for seeing the problems with ROE under four rubrics: The written ROE, the communication of the ROE, the application of the ROE in a counterinsurgency where fighters hide behind the population, and the main stream media feeding frenzy every time another story hits the wires, true or not.
The communication by General Petraeus addresses only one of the four categories above. In our coverage we have cited:
[a] instances where NCOs have given us stories of lack of engagement that ultimately led to U.S. casualties:
… the ROE is vague and limiting. And every time “violations