VA Ineptitude? Maybe the Core Problem is Restrictive Rules of Engagement (Guest Post)

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In a May 22 interview between FOX’s Eric Bolling and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, the congressman offered an insight that helps explain — though doesn’t justify — the Veterans Administration’s alleged problems with patient care.

If Rep. Gohmert’s numbers are correct, Afghanistan has become a killing field for our nation’s finest.

Under President Bush, 625 U.S. service members died and 2,638 were seriously wounded after seven years of fighting in Afghanistan. By comparison, said Gohmert, during the past five years, 1,628 U.S. troops died in combat and 16,366 were seriously injured — more than SIX TIMES the number of wounded under President Bush.

Why?

According to Rep. Gohmert, the increase in casualties correlates with the tightened rules of engagement (ROE) implemented under the current Commander-in-chief.

ROE are defined as rules or directives to military forces (including individuals) that define the circumstances, conditions, degree, and manner in which force, or actions which might be construed as provocative, may be applied.

In a December 2013 “Daily Caller” article, retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jerry Curry discussed the new directives.

“In Afghanistan under the new rules of engagement, airstrikes cannot be launched against enemy forces unless the person authorizing the strike is willing to declare for the record that no civilians will be killed,” said Curry. “Similarly, no Taliban terrorist can be fired upon unless the one directing the fire is also willing to certify that no civilian will be harmed during the action.

“The result is that it is not unusual for units in contact with the enemy to have to wait for hours for an airstrike to clear bureaucratic authorization hurdles and be launched,” he concluded.

Curry called these directives “nonsense.”

He’s right.

9 Responses to “VA Ineptitude? Maybe the Core Problem is Restrictive Rules of Engagement (Guest Post)”

  1. 1

    Nanny G

    This is sadly true.
    Another section of the ROE says that, if a fighter drops his gun our men can no longer fire at him!
    Considering the way our enemy uses even one civilian death as a PR sympathy machine it is amazing that Obama couldn’t come up with a better way to thwart that other than letting our men die and get wounded.
    Maybe photographing our enemy using their civilians as human shields.*
    Maybe getting on video the enemy’s leaders ordering the use of human shields.*
    Something.
    Anything other than hamstringing our fighting men.
    What are we doing on the ground (on equal footing) with this enemy anyway?
    Why not just kill them from the air and keep our fighters for other fights?

    *Major Chris Belcher, a spokesman for U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan, said, ”We were watching the compound all day and there was no sign that there were children in that compound during the day,” Belcher said. “Had we known that there were children there, we would not have ordered the air strike. This is another example of Al-Qaeda using innocent civilians to shield themselves.” A coalition statement says children who survived the air strike said the militants had forced the seven who were killed to stay in the targeted building for the entire day before the attack.
    NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said after those talks on June 15 that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda were trying to increase civilian casualties in Afghanistan because they wanted to undermine support for foreign troops in the country, [”The insurgents] are waging this indirect war against us by exploiting civilians — by using them as human shields.”
    There are conflicting claims about the cause of a fire in Afghanistan’s Oruzgan Province that reportedly killed seven Afghan women and children on June 17……A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yosuf Ahmadi, told RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan in a telephone conversation that the deaths were the result of a NATO air strike. ……But NATO officials said they had no information about any attacks by alliance aircraft in that location that day.

  2. 2

    Ditto

    Obama made a surprise visit to our troops in Afghanistan today. He made yeat another victory speech claiming that “we” are winning against alQeada, and announced that he would be extending the length of time “our” troops would be in that theater.

    I expect alQeada will accept this as a challenge from Obama, resulting in increased attacks on our military troops and a call to arms by these fanatics for the launching of more terrorist attacks on the US home soil.

  3. 3

    Jess

    @Ditto:

    His photo-op, like much of his presidency, is now embroiled in an incompetence scandal that will have ramifications far beyond a clerical error.

    Someone in his staff released the name of the CIA Chief of Operations for Afghanistan.

  4. 4

    Randy

    The ROE under Obama is responsible for additional deaths. There are few innocent civilians if they are harboring terrorists. Seal team 6 members were killed due to the ROE after Biden gave them up.

  5. 7

    Ditto

    @Jess:

    Someone in his staff released the name of the CIA Chief of Operations for Afghanistan.

    Yes, I heard about that. So far the hypocrite Clintons and MSM are playing “mum’s the word” on that. This is the problem when you create an administration that is almost totally comprised of higher education staffers, rabble-rousers and politicians with little real world experience.

  6. 8

    Nanny G

    Sure the REO’s are handing the VA more wounded veterans than they had had in a while, but what happened then?
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/nb-staff/2014/05/29/open-thread-doctor-shares-war-stories-va-including-operating-rooms-shut-do
    The above article summarizes the one below from behind the Wall Street Journal’s subscription wall.
    http://online.wsj.com/articles/hal-scherz-doctors-war-stories-from-va-hospitals-1401233147?tesla=y&mg=reno64-wsj
    The VA administrators tried to prevent doctors from seeing more patients, even though those doctors could have easily seen more.
    The doctors who hunted down charts so they could accurately treat their patients were punished for bypassing department workers who found it easier to say that they couldn’t find a chart than to go through the trouble of looking.
    The doctors who scrubbed ORs so they could operate on another patient without having to wait for federal unionized workers to do it were reprimanded.

    Try to imagine that.
    It isn’t all the fault of Obama’s REO.

  7. 9

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Nanny G
    YES,
    that”s why i say take away their UNIONS, they are taking their assurance that no one can fire them,
    they would become more human by loosing that crutch, THEY THINK TO ALWAYS HAVE A JOB,
    THE SHINSEKI HAS NO POWER TO ALL THE WORKERS,
    HE IS JUST A POST NO POWER,
    BUT THE UNIONS RUN THE GOVERNMENT AND OBAMA IS SURROUNDED BY UNIONS WHO COLLECT FROM THE PEOPLE’S POCKET, ALL OF THEM IN ALL THE HOSPITALS ARE SECURED BY THE UNIONS,
    AND TAKE THEIR JOBS FOR GRANTED,
    THEY CAN STOP THE WHEEL TO TURN AT WISH, AND BEING A BUNCH OF HUMANS THEY HAVE FAILURES THAT ARE NOT CALL ON, BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO FEAR, TAKE THAT OUT AND THEY WILL MORE CONCENTRATE ON THE VETERANS IN NEED OF SERVICES, WHICH ARE THE ONE WHO GAVE THEM THEIR WORK, NOT THE UNIONS,

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