Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Will President Trump Protect The Pentagon's Back If New Rules Of Engagement Produce Unacceptable Casualties?

Smoke rises over Kobani after an airstrike, as seen from the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, October 18, 2014 (Reuters)

Paul D. Shinkman, US News and World Report: 'Areas of Active Hostilities': Trump's Troubling Increases to Obama's Wars

The little-known term has prompted concerns in the military and CIA over whether the White House will protect them, after finally getting from Trump what they wanted under Obama.

The Defense Department is quietly scrambling to define a little-known term coined by the Obama administration that conveys vast authority over how and where it can fight wars, fearing that existing ambiguities could make military commanders less accountable and more liable under the administration of President Donald Trump.

At issue are what's called "areas of active hostilities," a term of art the Obama administration appropriated to identify where U.S. troops could operate with legal protections in places war has not been declared.

Read more ...

WNU Editor: The blow-back on the intelligence community after 9/11 on the techniques and methods that they used to gather intelligence in order to go to war against Al Qaeda is probably still resonating in that community today. As for the Pentagon .... during the Obama administration their approach to warfare .... and the strict rules of engagement that it entailed .... certainly created a culture where officers were careful when it came to applying lethal force. I have lost count over the years on how many posts that I have put-up in this blog of U.S. officers screaming in frustration on the limits that they had when it came to applying lethal force .... and the lost of U.S. servicemen because of it. Fast forward to today .... President Trump wants to change the rules and scope on how combat decisions are made .... and I suspect that he is being strongly influenced by Secretary of Defense Mattis. Its going to take a while before the culture changes .... and considering how politicians have abandoned the U.S. military in the past .... this cautious approach and a demand for a better definition on what they can and cannot do is understandable.


Jay Farquharson said...

Trump's never had anybody's "back" on anything, and by deferring to The General's, he can and will hang them out to dry if anything goes sideways.


B.Poster said...

I would be more concerned about whether or not the generals would have his back. Please understand I'm not suggesting Donald Trump is a good man or anything.

Of things go wrong, POTUS will take the heat in the US and world media and will almost certainly be facing indictment for war crimes. Maybe DJT doesn't understand this.

If I were POTUS, the generals would NOT have anything close to the lattitude that DJT is supposedly giving the generals. Micromanagement perhaps, probably!! Then again if I'm POTUS I'm ultinately responsible for the security of the American people and it's me whose on the chopping block if the generals err.

Of course were I POTUS, US military operations and deployments would be cut back by at least 95%. Doing this would increase American national security, be much less cumbersome for me to oversee as I'm on the line, and would likely increase the wealth of Americans as resources aren't being drained on fruitless deployments around the world that not only undermine US national security but drain valuable resources.

Jay Farquharson said...


B.Poster said...


I fail to see what's so funny here. As a member of the former Bush Administration, Donald Rumsfeld is among the most hated people in US history. As such, pretty much everyone would be immensely pleased to see him spending the rest of his life in jail.

At the time, he had enough political support to keep him out of jail. DJT has no such support and, for better or worse, with few exceptions "I was only following orders" has served as a good defense. Should things go south expect this to happen and POTUS whomever he or she may be will take the fall especially so if it is DJT whom the establushment despises.

America of today is not the same as America of 2004. They are fed up with these endless open ended military deployments carrying oht fruitless missions that undrmine American national security and undermine the economy.

The advice I lay out applies to any POTUS not just DJT. Cut back military deployments around the world by at least 95% of all types including placing a tighter reign on the intel community. Since POTUS is ultimately responsible, he/she needs to be able to oversee this. Had GWB followed this approach, the Iraq war probably could have been avoided.

Again, none of this is a laughing matter. That is unless the prospect of dead Americans is something someone wants to see then I suppose one relishes this. The current deployments on fruitless ooen ended operations are endangering Americans and are impossible for a POTUS to oversee. Furthermore the patience of the American people is wearing thin on this and they will eventually vote accordingly. I hope and pray the world's major powers will be patient with the American people as we move in a more proper direction.