Thursday, September 14, 2006

Missed Opportunity

The US missed an opportunity to take out about 200 Taliban soldiers including a few high value targets in July because they were holding a funeral and were on the grounds of a cemetery. From The Seattle Times:

The decision came to light after an NBC News correspondent's blog carried a photograph of the insurgents. Defense Department officials first tried to block further publication of the photo, then struggled to explain what it depicted.

NBC News said U.S. Army officers wanted to attack the ceremony with missiles carried by an unmanned Predator drone but were prevented under rules of battlefield engagement that bar attacks on cemeteries.

Wednesday, the U.S. military in Afghanistan said the picture — taken in July — was given to a journalist to show that Taliban insurgents were congregating in large groups. The statement said U.S. forces considered attacking.

"During the observation of the group over a significant period of time, it was determined that the group was located on the grounds of [the] cemetery and were likely conducting a funeral for Taliban insurgents killed in a coalition operation nearby earlier in the day," the statement said. "A decision was made not to strike this group of insurgents at that specific location and time."

Whether or not this is the correct policy, I'm not sure. It seems we could of at least hit them after they left. But that aside, am I the only one who remembers the pitched battle we fought against the forces of Muqtada al-Sadr in Naraf? It took place in the largest cemetery in the world. Is it now the official policy of the Pentagon to make shit up as they go along? Oh yea, I forgot, it's call Rumsfeldian warfare.

No comments: