Petraeus to Review Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan

Army Gen. David Petraeus, newly confirmed by the Senate to head US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said Tuesday he will review the standing rules of engagement and tactical directive governing the use of force in Afghanistan. Petraeus’ predecessor, Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, issued the directive in July 2009 in an effort to curb the use of force, including close air support, as a means of preventing injury to Afghan civilians. During his Senate nomination hearing, Petraeus said he recognizes that some ground troops have concerns over the restrictive nature of these orders. “They should know that I will look very hard at this issue,” he said. He thinks the ROE and tactical directive “are fundamentally sound” and he doesn’t “see any reason to change them in significant ways.” Rather, he wants to ensure that there is uniform implementation of them “throughout the force” so that troops receive the fire support they need when in contract with the enemy.