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The PJ Tatler

by
Dan Miller

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July 18, 2011 - 12:53 pm

Afghanistan is a beautiful place for a lovely little war.

This report is so incredible that it has to be accurate. A soldier in Afghanistan was blown up and killed by a Taliban improvised explosive device because he and others had been ordered to show “courageous restraint” when seeing IEDs being planted — lest the locals be disturbed.

Soldiers were ordered not to open fire on Taliban fighters planting mines in case they disturb local people, it has been claimed.

U.S. military chiefs ordered troops to exercise ‘courageous constraint’ and even warned them they could be charged with murder if they shot any Taliban without permission from above.

The claims were made by a former Royal Marine who spoke out following the inquest into the death of Sergeant Peter Rayner last week.

At the hearing in Bradford, his widow Wendy Rayner revealed how her husband was blown up days after senior officers had apparently ‘laughed off’ his complaints that insurgents were being allowed to plant explosive devices unchallenged.

. . . .

[H]e and his men had watched the enemy, using night-vision goggles, plant improvised explosive devices and were not allowed to attack them. He was allegedly told by one officer: ‘I am an Army Captain and you will do your job.’

. . . .

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: ‘The whole point of a counter insurgency operation is to protect the civilian population.’

He said soldiers had to go through a series of stages before opening fire and were sometimes asked to exercise ‘courageous restraint’ even when shots had been fired.

‘It is all about winning hearts and minds and using the least force possible,’ the spokesman said.

What a great, sensitive and humane way to fight a lovely little war!

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Let’s do it some lots more. Perhaps some high ranking folks from General Headquarters would like to go along on patrols just for the photo ops — maybe videos. I wonder whether any of them can sing and dance.

Dan Miller graduated from Yale University in 1963 and from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1966. He retired from the practice of law in Washington, D.C., in 1996 and has lived in a rural area in Panama since 2002.
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