THANK YOU AGAIN, General Mattis: Pentagon ditches Obama’s onerous Rules of Engagement for our troops in Iraq

Iraqi forces and U.S. coalition troops are no longer burdened by the previous administration’s restrictive rules of engagement, which some say have turned firepower requests into bureaucratic nightmares.

Washington Times  U.S. Army Lt. Col. James Browning, commander of 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, recently spoke with reporters about a Dec. 26 directive that streamlined the process of delivering aid. The order, attributed to U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, was confirmed on Thursday by Air Force Col. John Dorrian, the U.S.-led coalition’s spokesman.

“It changed the relationship [between forces],” Lt. Col. Browning told The Associated Press about increased flexibility on the battlefield. “It gives me a better understanding of how I can bring to bear the limited capabilities I have.”

Under Barack Hussein Obama, the Rules of Engagement changed for the worse, and killed more of our troops:

WASHINGTON TIMES In his Aug. 30 assessment of the situation in Afghanistan, which was leaked to the press, Gen. McChrystal said that the legitimacy of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had been “severely damaged … in the eyes of the Afghan people” because of “an over-reliance on firepower and force protection.”To succeed, he wrote, “ISAF will have to change its operating culture to pursue a counterinsurgency approach that puts the Afghan people first.” This entails “accepting some risk in the short term [but] will ultimately save lives in the long term.” (But it didn’t.)

The Times compiled an informal list of the restrictive rules under Obama from interviews with U.S. forces. Among them:

• No night or surprise searches.

• Villagers have to be warned prior to searches.

• ANA or ANP must accompany U.S. units on searches.

• U.S. soldiers may not fire at the enemy unless the enemy is preparing to fire first.

• U.S. forces cannot engage the enemy if civilians are present.

• Only women can search women.

• Troops can fire at an insurgent if they catch him placing an IED but not if insurgents are walking away from an area where explosives have been laid.

The new rules under Trump, which were supplemented with more directives weeks ago, allow U.S. personnel to better assist — physically and logistically — the Iraqi army’s 9th Division. Advisers are increasingly embedded with Iraqis and they can avoid cumbersome requests through a joint command center.

“[We previously] would have gone through a whole bureaucracy and through Baghdad,” the officer told AP by phone.

The new rules, which were supplemented with more directives weeks ago, allow U.S. personnel to better assist — physically and logistically — the Iraqi army’s 9th Division. Advisers are increasingly embedded with Iraqis and they can avoid cumbersome requests through a joint command center.

“[We previously] would have gone through a whole bureaucracy and through Baghdad,” the officer told AP by phone.

Military operations to dislodge the Islamic State group from Iraq’s second-largest city have seen a string of success in recent weeks. The eastern half of the city is under the control of coalition forces and its airport in the west was recaptured on Thursday. Roughly 100,000 Iraqis are fighting to retake Mosul for the first time since June 2014. 

FROM 2015:

Pre-Obama and Post-Obama Rules of Engagement: