Israel Operating Under Same Crippling Rules of Engagement as US in Afghanistan

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


F-16

Here’s what the depressing reality looks like when you stop fighting wars and focus on avoiding civilian casualties while the other side uses them as human shields.

Testimony that is reaching us from fighter pilots who provide close air assistance to the combat soldiers who are currently fighting in the field,” Channel 2′s military correspondent Nir Dvori reported, “about growing frustration over the fact that they hear the forces below them on the ground asking for cover and close air support when they see the terrorists drawing near from short range, firing at them, and there is no approval, because of various limitations, so as not to hit innocent civilians, and out of concern not to hit uninvolved people, and for this reason they cannot always give covering fire, cannot always fire, and so the frustration is that to some extent, they are leaving the fighters on their own to fight on the ground…”

Ynet’s veteran defense analyst Ron Ben Yishai reported that one of the reasons that Hamas was prepared to face Israeli ground troops in the Shejaiya neighborhood, where IDF suffered 13 killed in one day of fighting, is that the residents were given ample advance notice of the IDF’s intent to enter the neighborhood.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz took pride in the fact that the IDF takes such care to notify residents of its attack plans. “We cannot agree for Hamas to place civilians in our path,” he said earlier this week. “So what we have done is to warn the civilians over and over again to evacuate. There are no armies like this, which drop leaflets, call on the phone, bomb next to the target or carry out a ‘knock on the roof,’ and even disperse the residents with smoke.”

This is a familiar disaster from the rules of engagement that cost a lot of American lives in Afghanistan. Without air support and with painstaking attempts at avoiding civilian casualties, the enemy is motivated to operate around civilians to cut off air support and artillery.

And the civilian casualties pile up anyway because when engagements take place more often around civilians, they are more likely to be killed.

In Afghanistan, the number of Afghan civilians killed by NATO forces dropped sharply, but the number killed by the Taliban increased dramatically. This is all that Israel is going to accomplish, except that the Gazan Muslims killed by Hamas will be “credited” to Israel anyway.

  • Judahlevi

    Netanyahu cannot take Obama’s cavalier rules-of-engagement position when it comes to risking the lives of Israel’s soldiers. He should know better.

    Between the lives of soldiers on the ground, and the possibility of collateral damage, the soldier comes first – every time.

    Civilians were warned to leave. If they don’t whatever happens is their, and Hamas’, responsibility.

    • mollysdad

      Agreed. It’s time the Muslims were expelled from Gaza anyway.

  • Arctic Ant

    Syrian troops have tortured children and used them as human shields on tanks to prevent attacks by opposition forces, a UN report says.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-18405800

    In January 1991, captured Kuwaiti citizens were used as human shields by Iraq before the U.S. attacked. In 1950 and 1966, both N. Korea and N. Vietnam were reported by the U.S. as using human shields. During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, Iran used human shields by either tying women and children to the tanks or forcing them at gunpoint to walk in front of them to help clear minefields. 100,000 children were killed. In 2006, Hezbollah used human shields, having stashed weapons in hundreds of private homes and mosques, had fighters transporting missiles closely follow ambulances, and fired rockets near U.N. monitoring posts.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/05/AR2006120500446_pf.html

    The UN did nothing.

  • truebearing

    Some wars are morally murky, with no one occupying the high ground. In the case of Israel vs Hamas, it is incredibly easy to see that Hamas has staked out the territory just north of h*ll and Israel is occupying the moral high ground. Equally easy to see is the rank dishonesty of the leftist media in their complicity with the propaganda of Hamas. Apparently, they think we are all gullible enough to believe that they can’t get photos of Hamas terrorists hiding behind children or shooting from hospitals. They can, and probably do, but they don’t publish them.

    The morality of rules of engagement is simple. As the leader of a nation, you are entrusted to defend your citizens and utilize your military in a way that prevents as many deaths as possible. Your moral obligation is to effectively defend your nation, not reduce your military effectiveness to the level of your attacker. As long as you are fighting a defensive war, you owe the enemy little consideration.

    The primary moral responsibility of the UN is to remain impartial. They failed that test almost from the start. Their rules of engagement are designed to hurt nations like Israel and the US, but miraculously disappear when it comes to Russia, China, or any of the Muslim nations.

    Israel can’t win by appeasing its enemies, including the media. Submission to your enemies will be rewarded with death.

  • Mo

    Daniel, Elan Journo has a great interview on this subject: http://ari.aynrand.org/blog/2014/07/24/defeating-hamas-vs-mowing-the-grass

    • Bill Preston

      Nothing with the name Ayn Rand has any voice of reason. The biggest gaping plot hole of Atlas Shrugged is that the few powerful wealthy are not Atlas as history has shown time and time again. A very narrow view with no obvious better alternatives just like this stupid interview.

  • Anukem Jihadi

    Yeah, that’s great Israeli soldiers have to die so Jon Stewart can get a punch line. This won’t work.

  • Viet Vet

    And Iraq!!

  • Johnny Paleswine

    Smoke them out. Gaza should be filled with smoke so that none of those creatures can see anything coupled with loud RocknRoll at full speed. Equip the Israelis with gear to to protect their ears and eyes and blast away!!!

    With any luck Wolf Blitser will be there.

  • Drakken

    1 st rule of combat, shoot the lawyers.

    • truebearing

      That’s a good rule for just about anything.

  • Bill Preston

    You dumb f**ks don’t realize that killing civilians is what is going to keep the war going forever and Hamas loaded with recruits. For your own safety, you need to show that you aren’t killing a group that has already been oppressed (cough, you should know better Jews). Soldiers DO NOT come first. Poor decisions coming from a group that should know better. Didn’t learn any lessons from the holocaust? Apparently not. Well if you can’t get along the humanitarian world is going to have to move you idiots to another place where you aren’t in the bad neighborhood. How about a pretty place with jungles and waterfalls. The secret is out that you are after the death of anyone that isn’t you. The same moral low ground as Hamas. It’s easier to take out your group than Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, etc. plus we need oil. You have none. Israel is pretty, but not worth your petty life-long war. Grow the F up already. Don’t care what you children have to say anymore. You sound like racist ignorant trolls. Open your mind to a real humanitarian effort, consider your enemy human and deserving of ALL the rights you have, and Hamas will fade, guaranteed. Keep killing civilians and keep facing the retaliation. Simple choice for anyone that isn’t brain-dead.