This is just what you get. For example, think about room-clearing. We ask our guys to rush into a room without knowing what awaits them. They are to rush in and overwhelm any threat inside while also realizing that the likelihood of innocents within must temper their action. Get all that?

First, we don’t want them to get killed.
Second, we don’t want them to kill innocents.
Third, it is okay to kill enemy.
Fourth, we can’t recognize enemy except by their action against us.
And fifth, they must identify the enemy in that tiny fraction of time after they rush into the room and before the enemy shoots.

Add to all that the fundamental requirement of counter-insurgency: Everybody in that room we do not kill or capture must be made to love us. Because, after all, peace and love is what we are all about and the guys kicking-in the doors are our ambassadors of peace and love. Right?

So one of our guys who was given this type of impossible mission broke under the strain. Around 0300 (local time) Saturday 3/10/2012, a 38 year old staff sergeant on his fourth deployment left his base, walked a mile to a village west of Kandahar and started kicking doors on his own authority and acted on the assumption that everyone inside was enemy. Apparently 16 civilians were killed including four girls younger than 6. Murdered, I suppose, though by (our) law an insane person cannot form intent. In any case, this was not the collateral damage we saw in Kosovo.

We have created war-fighters who are the undisputed heavyweight champions of the world. But then we asked our war-fighters to do counter-insurgency, which is essentially a policing activity. It is not what war-fighters do, and this is what you get.

19 days earlier, contraband that was confiscated from prisoners was destroyed: Korans were defaced by Muslims smuggling messages inside a prison. The Korans were partially burned before they were recognized and pulled from the fire

“The International Security Assistance Force's top commander, General John Allen, apologized for the incident, saying he had ordered an inquiry into a report ‘that ISAF personnel at Bagram airbase improperly disposed of a large number of religious material which included Korans’.

“In a written statement, he said: ‘I offer my sincere apologies for any offence this may have caused, to the President of Afghanistan, the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and, most importantly, to the noble people of Afghanistan. When we learned of these actions, we immediately intervened and stopped them. This was not intentional in any way.’

“He added: ‘I would like to thank the Afghan people who helped us identify the error, and who worked with us to immediately take corrective action.’"

Rioting ensued.

This was followed by a plurality of comparably groveling apologies at the head of government level. These apologies appeased the current Commander-in-Chief’s core constituency which believes we should always be polite. They enraged the Afghans since the apologies confirmed that the burning was deliberate provocation. The cultural insensitivity of the Koran burning was accidental. The cultural insensitivity of the CIC’s apologies was informed.

And this is what you get: Still more rioting; 30 killed including 6 Americans including one son of Illinois: SGT Joshua A. Born, 25 years old when shot on February 23rd. His widow lives in Olive Branch, Illinois. PGRider Jeff Stoner was asked by Joshua’s family to take some photos and he got this one:

Unidentified soldier mourns Josh Born of Olive Branch. (Jeff Stoner)

We have seen this before. GHWB sent troops into Somalia (back before that country became known for blue water piracy) just to guarantee international food relief, a purely humanitarian mission. While the virtue of such altruism is debatable, the mission was limited. But then we had a change of Commander-in-Chief and the mission changed. It was expanded to “nation-building” and “Black Hawk down” ensued.

It makes one wonder if the CIC then (as the CIC now) views impossible missions as win-win: Either our guys do the impossible and he gets credit, or they fail and he gets popular authority to eviscerate our military which was his hidden agenda all along.

We had it won. We sent in Special Forces, Special Ops guys and CIA operators. They rode on horseback and used satellite communications to call down precision strikes of tremendous fury. We deposed the Taliban and sent al Queda running into caves. But then we should have followed the British imperial model (adapted for our non-imperialist, sole-superpower role in the world): We should have left.

The War in Afghanistan would have been four months long and we would simply shout over our shoulder as we go: “Try another 9/11 and we will be back.”

If anyone complained that Korans were destroyed we would respond, “Try another 9/11 and we will be back.”

And if we they showed that 6 year-old girls were killed we would respond, “Try another 9/11 and we will be back.”

Most people would understand what we were saying. Some people would complain, but some people always complain. The answer to those complaints is simply: “At least we are not spending thousands of lives and billions of dollars over a decade of time. And for what? So the Afghans can become convinced that we are blasphemers and murderers? That would not enhance our future security.”

But individual soldiers do not set policy. They serve by following orders all the way to death.

Dear God,

I ask for your consideration of two locals boys who died while doing Your work.

Illinois’ son Josh Born was a paratrooper working as an M.P when he was executed on February 23rd by Muslims because they thought other American soldiers had insulted Islam.

Illinois’ son Dan Weiss was an officer with the Ranger Regiment who deployed three times to Afghanistan where he took on such a great burden that he took his own life on March 4th.

Please receive Josh Born and Dan Weiss into your kingdom for their great service in your name while on Earth.

And please consider a third American soldier, the soon-to-be-identified killer of 16 on March 11th who could have just as easily died as Josh did, or as Dan did.









P.S.  Ya gotta luv Drudge...