New US Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan Escalates Killing of Civilians

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New US Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan Escalates Killing of Civilians

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

The Pentagon is a killing machine, civilian men, women and children indiscriminately targeted in all US war theaters – massacred in cold blood.

Defense Secretary Mattis changed the Pentagon’s rules of engagement in Afghanistan, indicating he has a free hand to wage war in the country by whatever rules he orders.

Trump earlier said he’d “lift restrictions and expand authorities” for Pentagon commanders, adding:

“We will also expand authorities for American armed forces to target the terrorists and criminal networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan.”

Mattis changed rules of engagement to anything goes, reminiscent of earlier ones in Iraq, commanders authorized to kill any military-aged Iraqi in sight, a flagrant international, constitutional and US statute law violation.

US Army Field Manual 27-10, incorporating Nuremberg Principles and the 1956 Law of Land Warfare, states any person, military or civilian, who commits a crime under international law is responsible for it and may be punished.

The defense of obeying superior orders is inadmissible. Provisions apply to all US military and civilian personnel to the highest levels – including the president, defense secretary and joint chiefs of staff.

Washington rules of combat flagrantly violate these core principles. Ruthless slaughter occurs in all its war theaters.

In congressional testimony, Mattis said “(y)ou see some of the results of releasing our military from, for example, a proximity requirement – how close was the enemy to the Afghan or” US forces?

“That is no longer the case, for example. So these kind of restrictions that did not allow us to employ the air power fully have been removed, yes.”

“We are no longer bound by the need for proximity to our forces. It used to be we have to basically be in contact with that enemy.”

“If they are in an assembly area, a training camp, we know they are an enemy and they are going to threaten the Afghan government or our people.”

“Wherever we find them, anyone who is trying to throw the NATO plan off, trying to attack the Afghan government, then we can go after them.”

Other changes include lifting all restraints on warmaking, giving field commanders discretion to do what they please.

Mattis called Washington’s new strategy “R4+S: regionalize, realign, reinforce, reconcile and sustain.”

He lied like he’s done numerous times before, claiming US forces will do everything “humanely possible” to avoid civilian casualties. The butcher of Fallujah is a serial killer.

Since Washington launched naked aggression on Afghanistan in October 2001, millions of Afghans perished from war, related violence, untreated diseases and starvation.

Its high crimes of war and against humanity have gone unpunished – in Afghanistan and all its war theaters.

Endless aggression continues. Permanent occupation of Afghanistan is planned. America came to the country to stay.

According to the UN, civilian casualties from terror-bombing increased over 50% from last year – since rules of engagement changed.

More than two-thirds of victims were women and children. In September, US warplanes dropped more bombs on the devastated country than in any month since 2010.

Trump ordered 3,000 more US combat troops deployed to the country, maybe more to follow. He asked NATO countries to increase their numbers.

He continues the forever war his predecessors began, ending it out of the question.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.