Rules - In a Knife Fight? A Study of Rules of Engagement
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Never before in the history of the United States have the rules of engagement been as criticized and yet as important as they are today. Often labeled as too legalistic and complicated for the warrior, rules of engagement are subject to ever changing political environments. In some cases, changes in the political situation may literally alter the military mission from forced entry to permissive landing overnight. This would necessitate a re-write of the rules and would probably not allow the commander sufficient time to adequately reformulate the rules and disseminate them without putting personnel or the mission in risk. Further, a lack of understanding of one of the most important components of modern operations has lead some staffs to delegate the rules of engagement to the staff judge advocate without the coordination of the other staff branches, namely operations and intelligence. The results have been contusing, inadequate or ambiguous rules which have hamstrung operators and had adverse effects on mission completion. The War on Terror takes the U.S. into a new dimension in warfighting. No longer confined to relatively small operations in underdeveloped nations where the ROE can be tailored for a single purpose, the U.S. must consider global consequences of using force while still remaining sensitive to sovereign states without losing military flexibility and lethality.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics