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Lt. Clint Lorance Could Be Any One of Us

daftandbarmy

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Jarnhamar said:
I had my chain of command unofficially tell us (our Pl) that they didn't want us taking warning shots anymore because they didn't want to risk ROE escalations and deal with collateral damage. We're in armored vehicles and "they can withstand VBIEDs".

Towards the end of our tour we were also given pen flares to use for warning shots (instead) and had investigations initiated every time we used a pen flare.  We lost faith and confidence in our chain of command to "have our back" when we were following our issued ROEs.

These people are known as 'cowards', of course. Sadly, they escape back to their desks without being taken to task in many cases.
 
J

jollyjacktar

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It's sad to say, but I don't trust the system not to throw me or anyone else under the first passing bus if it suits their purposes. 

Allstate, they're not in my mind, unless those hands were doing to me what I do mosquitoes.  Not the good hands of the commercials.
 

OldSolduer

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Hamish Seggie said:
This is what happens when a nation forgets what waging war is all about, and we've forgotten it too. Instead of providing good advice and training, we worry about toys and technology. We've forgetten that it takes real soldiers to man LAVs, tanks, planes and ships. We have micro managers at all levels who cannot trust the troops to do the right thing and instead of holding people accountable, ban everything. We are more concerned about some of the stupid mandatory training  than we are about making sure our troops can shoot.....and hit what they aim at.

Instead of training to win, we train not to break the Rules of Engagement. I cannot imagine Field Marshal Montgomery or General Patton listening to some lawyer advise them on how to win a war.

I'll say this right now: This will cost soldiers lives. Either they will die because the ROE is overly restrictive or they will do some time in jail.

Ok rant ends.....unless I think of anything else to say....and I probably will.

Just to remind you all where I stand.

Too many "leaders" are nothing but politicians in a uniform.
 

Jarnhamar

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daftandbarmy said:
These people are known as 'cowards', of course. Sadly, they escape back to their desks without being taken to task in many cases.

With a Meritorious Service Medal to boot  ;D




With stuff like this I find there is a disconnect between what happens on the ground and with who makes the ROEs.

Fighting age male digging a hole on the side of the road at 3am and placing something inside in the same spot 3 previous IEDs have went off.

2006 you could shoot them.
2008 you need positive ID. Can you physically see an IED? No? Go to jail if you shoot them (at 3am burying something in an IED hot spot)




 

OldSolduer

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Jarnhamar said:
With a Meritorious Service Medal to boot  ;D




With stuff like this I find there is a disconnect between what happens on the ground and with who makes the ROEs.

Fighting age male digging a hole on the side of the road at 3am and placing something inside in the same spot 3 previous IEDs have went off.

2006 you could shoot them.
2008 you need positive ID. Can you physically see an IED? No? Go to jail if you shoot them (at 3am burying something in an IED hot spot)

I heard this. Would this be TF 1-08?
 

Scoobie Newbie

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Jarnhamar said:
With a Meritorious Service Medal to boot  ;D




With stuff like this I find there is a disconnect between what happens on the ground and with who makes the ROEs.

Fighting age male digging a hole on the side of the road at 3am and placing something inside in the same spot 3 previous IEDs have went off.

2006 you could shoot them.
2008 you need positive ID. Can you physically see an IED? No? Go to jail if you shoot them (at 3am burying something in an IED hot spot)

End of 3-06 went the that way actually.
 

Petard

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While I was with TF 1-07, manning the OP at Sperwan Ghar,  I spotted two teenage boys, one carrying a sandbag with a large rectangular object in it the other a shovel. They were walking near the end of Brown route, and luckily I could keep sight of them through a 30X scope the sniper det had genorousily loaned us, but then lost sight of them in the rolling terrain near the road junction. We reported it, it was acknowledged, but nothing else happened. There was no one to send out to investigate, and we were certainly not going to be allowed to spool up a fire mission.

The consequences of that could have been worse if it weren't for luck. Just before last light, one of our Gun Dets went up to Ma'sum Ghar to retrieve a M777 a CLP had left there (too dangerous for the CLP to bring it to Sper apparently, but not too dangerous for the Gun Tp to go get it).  The next day, the gun Tp at Patrol Base Wilson came down to Sper with essential stores for the gun (that had somehow been dropped there instead of MSG). When they made the turn onto Brown route, they spotted a pressure plate type IED that was partially sticking up out of the gravel. The track marks from a TLAV that had gone out the night before could clearly be seen over the IED, by luck it was a dud. Later it was removed by the engineers

A few weeks later, while travelling with 9 Tac, I was in an ambush along route Summit, near the ford in front of Ma'sum Ghar. Two anti-tank teams, one with an RPG the other with an 82 recoiless, were going after the Bn Commander. The enemy were unsuccessful, despite getting a couple of rounds off each. Just as this started, what looked like goat herders ran from the area of the shooting through some low brush. The enemy ditched their hardware and ran out through their back-blast clouds, then through the dense brush. When they broke out through the more scattered brush, the BC (Maj Dan Bobbitt) spotted them, put his LAV gunner onto them but then they could see through their sights they had no weapons. They got away on motorbikes hidden nearby behind a low wall

Such were the ROE then, and in telling that story to those from 1-06 and 3-06 they're surprised that we didn't engage them.
The way I look at it, such are COIN operations, and the situation evolves. It seems to me the early stages of the deployment were somewhat unusual, and that the way we dealt with it later was more typical for COIN; to engage can actually make the situation worse in the long run.

Soldiers might reflexively chafe at this idea, and some reading this stuff about Lorrance might be going that route.
But think about those two short scenarios I throw out there. Sending 81mm mortar rds to take out a suspect IED laying team is just as likely to hit farmers nearby that don't have anything to do with it. In the ambush, we could just as easily of shot the goat herders nearby that ran out of that same low brush we seen the others go through later. You might want to rationalize those we seen going through the brush were involved somehow, maybe as spotters, but it happened so fast there would be no way you could prove that

I put those two stories out there, and I'm sure there are many many others reading this with far more experiences like those, to make the point that you have to respect the ROE and the situation you're given.  When you read the Army Times article, I get the sense Lorrance's Platoon got that, Lorrance didn't. Personally, I think he was rightly convicted and sentenced.
 

KevinB

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It's a slippery slope -- but to me, the tie always goes to the runner.

I do not believe for one instance that folks in Afghan with a bike, and radio in areas like that are simply simple villagers.

Yes, it seems the Lt was a little childish (and maybe criminal) in some of his other antics, but having his guys remove the threat was not one, if given the fact others in the party did test positive for GSR, then it's was a good call.
  The sentence is asinine, the issue with the falsified report on the incoming fire, to me smacks that he should have been relieved due to ethics, as well as the idiocy of shooting into the village without a target.

Anyone near a road with a shovel is a legitimate threat - unless they are part of a road construction crew - and then I'd keep glass on them anyway.

I generally despise JAG's (no offence FJAG, you seem to be a good guy) - but the level of stupidity generated by Military lawyers is incredible.
  We can drop bombs on people, but the idiocy of parts of the Hague Convention continues, and no one has stopped to think that the whole expanding bullet stupidity was long before thermobaric munitions, effective fragmenting munitions etc.
 

It is a war - get over it.

I mean why not go back and charge all the remaining WWII Bomber crews with murder - that makes about as much sense...





 
 

Jarnhamar

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KevinB said:
It's a slippery slope -- but to me, the tie always goes to the runner.

I do not believe for one instance that folks in Afghan with a bike, and radio in areas like that are simply simple villagers.

Yes, it seems the Lt was a little childish (and maybe criminal) in some of his other antics, but having his guys remove the threat was not one, if given the fact others in the party did test positive for GSR, then it's was a good call.
  The sentence is asinine, the issue with the falsified report on the incoming fire, to me smacks that he should have been relieved due to ethics, as well as the idiocy of shooting into the village without a target.

Anyone near a road with a shovel is a legitimate threat - unless they are part of a road construction crew - and then I'd keep glass on them anyway.

I generally despise JAG's (no offence FJAG, you seem to be a good guy) - but the level of stupidity generated by Military lawyers is incredible.
  We can drop bombs on people, but the idiocy of parts of the Hague Convention continues, and no one has stopped to think that the whole expanding bullet stupidity was long before thermobaric munitions, effective fragmenting munitions etc.
 

It is a war - get over it.

I mean why not go back and charge all the remaining WWII Bomber crews with murder - that makes about as much sense...

I agree with you.

WRT Americans I find it crazy that they will sentence a guy like this to 20 years for shooting someone who can arguabaly be a legitimate threat yet no one seems to blink when their drones shoot helfire missiles into villages.
 

FJAG

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KevinB said:
I generally despise JAG's (no offence FJAG, you seem to be a good guy) - but the level of stupidity generated by Military lawyers is incredible.
  We can drop bombs on people, but the idiocy of parts of the Hague Convention continues, and no one has stopped to think that the whole expanding bullet stupidity was long before thermobaric munitions, effective fragmenting munitions etc.
It is a war - get over it.
I mean why not go back and charge all the remaining WWII Bomber crews with murder - that makes about as much sense...

Kevin

Amongst lawyers there's an old adage "Everyone hates lawyers in general but loves their own lawyer". My experience has been that the higher up in the CoC you go the more the operational commanders are prone to like their legal advisors and to respect their opinions. At the lower levels the lawyers become the easy scapegoats.

Key issue. ROEs are NOT dictated by legal officers.

The starting point is that the Government of Canada (like the US and most other countries) has committed itself to certain international legal standards through treaties, acceptance of customs of war etc which regulate how its military employs the use of force.

In any given campaign, the Government of Canada exercises control over how its military employs force through ROEs issued on its behalf through the CDS. In developing those ROE, the CDS, through the J3 side, incorporates three considerations: 1. ensuring national policies are maintained, 2. define what limits on the use of force are to be put in place, and 3. ensure use of force stays within international or domestic legal bounds.

The first two considerations are entirely driven by government and/or operational policy and/or requirements. The third factor is one where the JAG (not just a legal officer, but "THE" JAG) must sign off indicating that the particular ROE that has been developed by the ops folks are within the appropriate law. Generally that's not a problem because the ROE development process is a very mature one and in many ways the ops people develop ROE from a set of pre-approved clauses.

Once issued, ROE are orders issued by the CDS to his deployed forces. At that point the conditions for the use of force which may employed by the subordinate commanders has been set. Commanders in the field cannot use any greater force but may request a modification of ROEs from the CDS where necessary. Legal officers in the field have absolutely no power to restrict issued ROEs. Their role is to solely to "advise" their supported commanders during targeting procedures, as to whether or not the commander's intended action falls either within the ROE or outside of it.

The law of armed conflict has changed considerably since the dum dum bullet. There have been numerous new treaties over the last four decades addressing both weapon systems and humanitarian law. I have my personal views about "Bomber" Harris, but to paraphrase, "that was then, this is now".

The problem as I said before is that in highly complex environments you can't always reconcile each and every tactical situation on the ground with the "big picture" national policies and objectives. There was a point both in Iraq and Afghanistan where senior government and military leadership came to believe that robust military operations were counter-productive to the overall objective of creating stable indigenous governments capable of providing for their own security and economy. How correct that belief was or how productive the subsequent response was has been and continues to be a highly debated topic. What is absolutely clear, however, is that in Afghanistan, first ISAF and subsequently OEF forces, turned to kinder and gentler ROEs. The point that I want to make is that this was not a legal decision; it was a high level military/political one.

I'm not making any judgement calls as to who's right or wrong here. The guy on the ground with his M4 in hand has one view of the world and, for him, that's reality. But at the same time, the guy sitting back in Kabul or Washington also has a view of the world and, for him, that's reality. Neither one is a bad guy, nor stupid, nor insensitive; they're just guys trying to do the best job they can in the environment within which they operate. That said, the ROEs are orders and lieutenants who disobey them should expect to have someone rip them a new one.

:cheers:
 

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:goodpost:  Wow, well put.  I had a pretty good idea of the process but you have laid it out nicely.  Thank you.
 

Infanteer

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Jarnhamar said:
2006 you could shoot them.
2008 you need positive ID. Can you physically see an IED? No? Go to jail if you shoot them (at 3am burying something in an IED hot spot)

Not true.
 

Jarnhamar

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Infanteer said:
Not true.

My eyes and my ears are my universe,  all else is heresy  ;D

You probably had a clearer understanding of the roes
 

George Wallace

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FJAG said:
Key issue. ROEs are NOT dictated by legal officers.

The starting point is that the Government of Canada (like the US and most other countries) has committed itself to certain international legal standards through treaties, acceptance of customs of war etc which regulate how its military employs the use of force.

In any given campaign, the Government of Canada exercises control over how its military employs force through ROEs issued on its behalf through the CDS. In developing those ROE, the CDS, through the J3 side, incorporates three considerations: 1. ensuring national policies are maintained, 2. define what limits on the use of force are to be put in place, and 3. ensure use of force stays within international or domestic legal bounds.

The first two considerations are entirely driven by government and/or operational policy and/or requirements. The third factor is one where the JAG (not just a legal officer, but "THE" JAG) must sign off indicating that the particular ROE that has been developed by the ops folks are within the appropriate law. Generally that's not a problem because the ROE development process is a very mature one and in many ways the ops people develop ROE from a set of pre-approved clauses.

Just a 'few' (quite a few) years ago, I ran into a colleague whose girlfriend was involved in drawing up ROE's.  She was neither a Lawyer, nor did she have any military background other than being employed by DND in this capacity.  She was a 'Political Scientist'.  I lost faith in logical and effective ROE's actually being produced, that would cover the situations that the 'end users' would face, after that tidbit was given to me.

FJAG said:
Once issued, ROE are orders issued by the CDS to his deployed forces. At that point the conditions for the use of force which may employed by the subordinate commanders has been set. Commanders in the field cannot use any greater force but may request a modification of ROEs from the CDS where necessary. Legal officers in the field have absolutely no power to restrict issued ROEs. Their role is to solely to "advise" their supported commanders during targeting procedures, as to whether or not the commander's intended action falls either within the ROE or outside of it.

Thank you FJAG for clarifying the JAG's position.
 

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Jarnhamar said:
2008 you need positive ID. Can you physically see an IED? No? Go to jail if you shoot them (at 3am burying something in an IED hot spot)

TUAV Flight helped remove two four-man IED emplacement teams from the Taliban order of battle in mid-January 2009. No IEDs were seen prior to the corrective action taken, just a pair of guys digging in the middle of Ring Road South well outside of regular road-repair crew working hours in each case. The first involved Predator, B1, and A10 strikes, and the second OH58D and F15 strikes.

That second engagement was one of the best days I ever spent on the job.

The pair of A10s, by the way, were the only aircraft that failed to hit a target.
 

dimsum

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Loachman said:
TUAV Flight helped remove two four-man IED emplacement teams from the Taliban order of battle in mid-January 2009. No IEDs were seen prior to the corrective action taken, just a pair of guys digging in the middle of Ring Road South well outside of regular road-repair crew working hours in each case. The first involved Predator, B1, and A10 strikes, and the second OH58D and F15 strikes.

That second engagement was one of the best days I ever spent on the job.

The pair of A10s, by the way, were the only aircraft that failed to hit a target.

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