Accession Number : ADA570320


Title :   Risk, Military Ethics and Irregular Warfare


Descriptive Note : Newsletter


Corporate Author : FOREIGN POLICY RESEARCH INST PHILADELPHIA PA


Personal Author(s) : Pfaff, Tony


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a570320.pdf


Report Date : Dec 2011


Pagination or Media Count : 9


Abstract : A US Army Non-commissioned officer reported in a letter to commentator George Will that during one patrol his unit came under heavy small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs). In response, he requested artillery be fired on the enemy s position. His higher headquarters denied the request because of the proximity of Afghan civilians to the fighting. Unable to continue the mission, he requested the supporting artillery unit to fire smoke rounds to conceal the unit s movement out of the engagement area. The headquarters granted this request but even though the chances of injury from a smoke round are remote, the artillery unit had to deliberately fire one kilometer off the requested position for fear of injuring civilians. As result, the rounds were ineffective at concealing the unit s movement. In another example, a higher headquarters denied a Marine patrol permission to attack an apparent insurgent group emplacing roadside bombs in Afghanistan. The Marines not only observed that the Afghans possessed equipment associated with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), they had also recently intercepted a radio transmission indicating insurgents were planting such devices in the area. However, since the insurgents were planting the IEDs in an area close to civilian populations and the only way the Marines had available to intervene--machine guns and helicopters would have almost certainly caused collateral damage, the higher headquarters denied their request to attack the insurgents. Frustrated, the lieutenant in charge angrily exclaimed, I thought we were going to play by big boy rules. Had they been playing by the traditional rules, the sergeant would have received supporting fire and the Marines would have been permitted to fire on the insurgents, even if both courses of action meant risking noncombatant casualties.


Descriptors :   *CIVILIAN POPULATION , *ETHICS , *MILITARY OPERATIONS , *RISK ANALYSIS , *UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE , AFGHANISTAN , ANTITANK AMMUNITION , ARMY , ARTILLERY , ATTACK , BOMBS , CASUALTIES , EXPLOSIVE CHARGES , FOREIGN POLICY , GUNFIRE , INDICATORS , INSURGENCY , INTERCEPTION , MARINE CORPS PERSONNEL , MISSIONS , NONCOMBATANT , OFFICER PERSONNEL , PATROLLING , REPRINTS , RESPONSE , ROCKETS , SMALL ARMS , SMOKE MUNITIONS , TERRORISTS , WOUNDS AND INJURIES


Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
      Unconventional Warfare


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE