Now we’re talking.
As many combat veterans can reluctantly recall, rules of engagement are not always our friend. In fact, in many cases they caused us to grit our teeth as we had to watch the enemy drive on by, or as a suspected bomb maker was allowed to disappear into a crowded street. Troops often had their hands tied until the enemy opened fire on them, and even then they could not always shoot back. Now the Obama administration is allowing American forces to engage the enemy for something as small as waving an ISIS flag or wearing a shirt in support of any affiliated terror group.
Sounds great, right?
Not so fast. This still does not clear up cases where the enemy is a known terrorist but there may not be tangible evidence of that. It is a step in the right direction, but it is not going to change the tide overwhelmingly in our favor. Until troops and operators can be given the trust and confidence to use their judgement in such matters, they will still be fighting with one hand behind their back. Loosening the rules does not mean they are where they should be.
The Obama administration has loosened the rules of engagement for U.S. forces striking the Islamic State and affiliated groups in Afghanistan, allowing them to target militants just for being associated with the terror network, a senior defense official confirmed to Fox News.
The new authorization now puts ISIS in the same category as Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Previously, the militants could only be targeted if they showed what’s known as hostile intent.
“Now,” a U.S. official told Fox News, “we can kill ISIS in Afghanistan just for wearing the T-shirt or waving their flag.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported the change.
The development comes after the State Department designated the affiliate “ISIL-K,” or Khorasan, as a foreign terrorist organization earlier this month.
Despite the new authorization allowing the military to more easily target ISIS supporters, the U.S. has been going after the militants in Afghanistan for months.
The U.S. military has conducted dozens of drone operations against ISIS affiliates in eastern Afghanistan beginning this summer in order to protect Afghan, U.S. and foreign forces.