Recently I wrote a piece for Townhall.com about ROE (Rules of Engagement). Based on what’s happening in Iraq right now, that topic is rearing its ugly head — sadly, to the disadvantage of our men on the front lines.
Barack Obama declared an end to combat operations in Iraq, and ordered a complete withdrawal of our forces. Now that Obama has enabled the resurgence and reconstitution of an enemy that was defeated, he’s ordered U.S. troops back into that combat theater of operations — except, he refuses to call it combat. It is “training” yet Obama says we are going to disrupt, defeat, and destroy ISIS. Well, you don’t do that unless you’re conducting offensive operations — air and ground integrated operations.
Instead, we’ve deployed our Warriors into a morass without clear objectives and direction. And just this Saturday we shared the Assistant Commandant of the US Marine Corps comments, saying if the Marines were called today to respond to an unexpected crisis, they might not be ready.
It doesn’t appear they are now.
As reported by Fox News, “Two days after a U.S. Marine was killed in an ISIS rocket attack at a new firebase in northern Iraq, the base came under attack again Monday, a U.S. military spokesman told reporters. No Americans were killed or wounded in the latest attack, according to Col. Steve Warren, a U.S. military spokesman based in Baghdad. A “squad-sized” element of ISIS fighters, likely under 10, crept in close enough to attack the U.S. base, known as Firebase Bell, using small-arms fire. Two of the fighters were killed and the others ran off, the spokesman added. Warren says he believes the U.S. Marines were specifically targeted in the rocket attack over the weekend and thinks further attacks are likely.“We’re in a dangerous place, and there’s a war going on. So, we have to expect that there will be attacks,” he said.
Despite President Obama’s pledge of “no boots on the ground” against ISIS, some U.S. lawmakers say it’s been unclear where the advising mission ends and combat begins. In addition, a militia backed by Iran warned it would “deal with” U.S. Marines fighting ISIS in Iraq as “forces of occupation.” In an announcement on its TV channel al-Ahd, the militia added, “The forces of occupation are making a new suspicious attempt to restore their presence in the country under the pretext of fighting their own creation,” referring to ISIS.”
Obama said there is no war, but he’s deploying our men into areas where folks speaking a different language are shooting at them – that’s not a law enforcement or training mission, it’s combat. And why have we deployed these Marines into northern Iraq, right in the middle of ISIS country? Where is their fire support? Do these Marines have mortars, artillery, attack helicopter, and Marine CAS (close air support) by way of ready alert Harriers? This is why we need to have a commander in chief who, if hasn’t been on the receiving end of an RPG, will at least listen to those who have.
Barack Obama is playing a game with the lives of our Marines — heck, all of our Warriors deployed. His political game of semantics and lack of a strategy means the best our country has to offer are being placed in harm’s way without requisite support. And we all know Obama will abandon Americans in combat at the drop of a hat, and lie about it to boot.
Furthermore, Obama has placed these Marines right in the middle of a hornet’s nest. Not only are they facing Sunni ISIS, they’re also now being targeted by Iranian-backed Shiite militias. And why not — since Obama just couldn’t help himself in lifting economic sanctions and granting billions of dollars to the number one state sponsor of Islamic terrorism. So, I have to ask the question: if any American dies at the hands of Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, does President Obama have blood on his hands?
Obama has deployed our troops into a serious hot spot, and with what I know to be defensive ROE, meaning the enemy can sneak up to their firebase and not be engaged.
Here’s the deal: the ROE says our troops cannot fire until fired upon, which is insane. If those Marines — whom I know have night vision devices and are on the ramparts in guard posts — fired upon the ISIS assailants, they would have been tried for “premeditated murder,” because the JAGs would have asked them — how did you know they had hostile intent if they hadn’t fired upon you?
This is the reason why young Army 1LT Clint Lorance sits in Ft. Leavenworth convicted of murder by the U.S. Army — and a damn deserter named Bowe Bergdahl walks free.
Heck, maybe those Marines should just walk off the firebase, or maybe surrender and be placed on their knees – they’d certainly get a better reception from President Obama and his liberal progressive socialist acolytes.
Ask yourself, is this story being talked about on the mainstream media? Col. Steve Warren, the US military spokesman in Baghdad said, “Katyusha rockets were used in the ISIS attack Saturday. Some of the wounded Marines have been transferred to a U.S. military hospital in Germany.
That attack killed Marine Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin of Temecula, Calif. Cardin was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the Pentagon said. His body was returned to Dover Air Force base Monday afternoon. In the past two weeks, the Pentagon sent a company of U.S. Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Kearsarge and other amphibious ships to Iraq. A defense official later told Fox News the number of Marines at the new firebase is close to 180. “They’re there to provide force protection,” Warren said when asked about the mission. He said the new base is similar to two other Iraqi bases where U.S. forces are supporting the training of the Iraqi military.”
I beg to differ with Col. Warren, those men are there as sitting ducks and if they were there for Force Protection, then tell me where was the counter fire radar system and fire support to eradicate the launch site of those Katyusha rockets? You see, you may be able to blather on and fool some, but not those of us who know a little bit about firebase operations. So, I should ask Col. Warren, when are we going to conduct a search and destroy mission to send a message?
Folks, this is FUBAR. Obama has the blood of U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Louis F. Cardin on his hands. God rest the soul of this Marine and bless his family. I’ve been to Temecula, his hometown, and sadly, they just lost a Warrior, an American, a United States Marine.
And it did not have to be so.