“In fact, in the past few days, I have had a good discussion with [Afghan] President [Hamid] Karzai on this topic, noting that, if confirmed, I would continue the emphasis on reducing loss of civilian life in the course of operations to an absolute minimum, while also ensuring that we provide whatever assets are necessary to ensure the safety of ISAF and Afghan forces when they are in a tough spot.” In answer to another written question, Gen. Petraeus said: “One of my highest priorities, should I be confirmed … will be to assess the effect of our [rules of engagement] on the safety of our forces and the successful conduct of our mission.”
General Petraeus said that the application of the rules of engagement has put our troops and coalition allies in difficult positions. I wonder will the commenters who criticized my post on the rules of engagement have the same view of the General’s view which happens to match mine. The rules of engagement must be designed to protect innocents, but they must not be designed to protect our enemies. Right now the Taliban can fire at us until they run out of ammunition and instead of us demanding surrender, they can just toss their weapons down and walk away. In the past, they walked to other weapons stashes and started firing again. I do not call that a rule of engagement. I call that the rule of insanity. While most of the attention today went to the justice to be, I believe an equally consequential hearing was General Petraeus’ hearing. The committee recommended approval.