American Suicide: The “Karzai 12”

WASHINGTON, November 17, 2009–A recent article in The Washington Times illustrated what we at the Ayn Rand Center have been saying: a “compassionate” war is hopeless and futile. The article shows the frustration of troops who must follow restrictive rules of engagement such as the “Karzai 12” combat regulations. These rules were chosen by U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal to “pursue a counterinsurgency approach that puts the Afghan people first.” They include the elimination of night or surprise searches, a ban on engaging the enemy if civilians are present, and a requirement that only women can search women. According to the article: “Dozens of U.S. soldiers . . . said these rules sometimes make a perilous mission even more difficult and dangerous.”

According to Elan Journo, fellow at the Ayn Rand Center, “The death and misery caused by Washington’s self-crippling rules of engagement–rules endorsed by liberals and conservatives alike–are part of the inevitable destruction flowing from a broader evil: the philosophy of ‘compassionate’ war. Washington’s rules have systematically prevented our brave and capable troops from using all necessary force to win, to crush the insurgency–and even to protect themselves.

“Having to follow such self-effacing rules of engagement while confronting sniper fire and ambushes and bombs from every direction, day in and day out, must be utterly demoralizing and unbearable.

“We must put an end to the barbarous sacrifice of American troops, now.”

For a proper solution to this problem, read Mr. Journo’s new book, “Winning the Unwinnable War: America’s Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism.”