I would seriously question the notion that politicians are legitimate targets … unless of course they were part of the military personnel (such as in a junta).Wonderbread said:This is why neutralizing enemy political leaders is important to our cause - whether this be through discrediting them, arresting them, or targeted killings.
The TB have not used the mentally handicapped as bombers (that was Iraq) and gone are the chivalrous days where a woman’s sex ensured she could be niether a legitimate target nor combatant.OldSolduer said:The senior Al Qaeda and Taliban leadership target women and children. They use women, children and mentally deficient people as suicide bombers. We should be targeting them and killing them without mercy.
Reprisals (or vengeance killings) are not legal & not permitted within CF policy. We kill for military necessity (ie. must be done to achieve the mission with minimum consumption of manpower & resources). Destroying the bomb-making network is necessary. Sometimes that may require members of the enemy get killed.OldSolduer said:We should be targeting them and killing them without mercy.
I would seriously question the notion that politicians are legitimate targets
Wonderbread said:What I was trying to get at is that politicians are a vital part of the enemy war machine and therefore are moral targets. When so much of a counter-insurgency is dependant on the views of the population, neglecting to actively undermine the authority of enemy politicans is neglecting to deal with an insurgency at it's source. A bullet in the head of one important enemy politican could potentially save the lives of many working below him, not to mention the lives of our own soldiers.
The more important argument is whether or not targeted killings make tactical sense - whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. In this, each particular situation will dictate.
Greymatters said:From the military viewpoint, killing the head (regardless of political or military status) is important but must be balanced against other considerations - namely avoiding making the leader into a martyr whose death would further inspire the population. Its also hard to get someone with actual recognized authority to sign the surrender papers if you keep shooting them.
Yrys said:I'm no SME, just a civilian. But even if some Talibans leaders would surrender, since they're not government of a country, but
leaders of an ideological movement, wouldn't someone else just take their places ?
There may also be some reluctance on the part of potential replacements to take the job if the last six retired as members of the Pink Mist Society...Greymatters said:They can be replaced, but there's no guarantee that the new leaders will by followed by everyone or that everyone will listen to them...
You said we should be "killing them without mercy" because they "use women, children and mentally deficient people as suicide bombers." If that is not a statement for reprisal/vengeance killings, then you must have misstated your position. There is nothing wrong with killing the TB leadership, but not for the reasons that you have provided. Go back & see my comment on military necessity.OldSolduer said:MCG: I didn't say anything about reprisals. What I'm talking about is a policy that targets senior Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders. You are telling me there is something wrong with that?
Well, if you as a soldier cannot distinguish between the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of operation when it suits your argument, then it is no wonder that some in the civilian community have the same problem.OldSolduer said:As far as I'm concerned, Al Qaeda and the Taliban are one and the same. What Al Qaeda does in Iraq is eventually mirrored in Afghanistan.
Reprisal killings for violations of the laws of armed conflict are not necessity (in fact, you will find that such acts are themselves in violation of LOAC). Destruction of the enemy command chain, elimination of technical network (ie. bomb-makers), cutting lines of sustainment (funding or kit) are all of military necessity.OldSolduer said:I stand by what I said. If killing senior Taliban leadership for using women and kids as suicide bombers isn't "necessity" what is?
Tactics have a way of migrating. Recognize that the TB in Afghanistan are not Sunni insurgents in Iraq (despite the fact that AQ has its fingers in both fights). If you want to kill TB in Afghanistan for things that happened in Iraq, you will find yourself on the wrong side of the law.OldSolduer said:I can differentiate between theaters of ops. I ahve spoken to Afghan vets and waht happens in Iraq will eventually make its way to Afghanistan.
Old Sweat said:... in the case of a Taliban commander who is responsible for organizing attacks by suicide bombers and/or IEDs, it is illegal to punish him for his past activities.
It is illegal to launch an Op to kill someone as a punishment for his past activities against our forces (we could capture & put him on trial for past activities if they were in violation of LOAC). It is perfectly legitimate to kill him so as to prevent a probable repeat of past activities against our forces.TrexLink said:Might you care to rephrase that a bit, please?