Afghanistan — Tactical Directive Stresses Coalition, Afghan Partnership

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2010 — All patrols and oper­a­tions in Afghanistan must include Afghan secu­ri­ty forces part­ners, accord­ing to an updat­ed tac­ti­cal direc­tive from the com­man­der of coali­tion and U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The direc­tive from Army Gen. David H. Petraeus applies to all mem­bers of the NATO-led Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force. 

Part­ner­ing is key in many areas, Petraeus said in the direc­tive, not­ing that Afghan troops and police are more sen­si­tive to local nuances than coali­tion forces. Pri­or to the updat­ed direc­tive, rough­ly 85 per­cent of tac­ti­cal oper­a­tions and all spe­cial oper­a­tions had been con­duct­ed in part­ner­ship with Afghan forces, Defense Depart­ment offi­cials said. 

“Some civil­ian casu­al­ties result from a mis­un­der­stand­ing or igno­rance of local cus­toms and behav­iors,” he said. “No indi­vid­u­als are more attuned to the Afghan cul­ture than our Afghan part­ners.” Accord­ing­ly, he added, part­ner­ship with Afghan forces is essen­tial in all oper­a­tions, and Afghan part­ners must be part of the plan­ning and exe­cu­tion phases. 

Work­ing in part­ner­ship with coali­tion forces, Petraeus said, will build Afghan forces’ exper­tise to han­dle mis­sions on their own, and their pres­ence should soothe Afghan civil­ians’ anx­i­eties and build their con­fi­dence in Afghan secu­ri­ty forces. 

The direc­tive requires com­man­ders approv­ing strikes to deter­mine that no civil­ians are present, and it pro­hibits strikes if that deter­mi­na­tion isn’t pos­si­ble unless ISAF or Afghan forces are at risk oth­er­wise. A clas­si­fied por­tion of the direc­tive out­lines spe­cif­ic con­di­tions for that pro­vi­sion, offi­cials said. 

Offi­cials empha­sized that the updat­ed tac­ti­cal direc­tive does not pre­vent com­man­ders from pro­tect­ing the lives of their men and women as a mat­ter of self-defense when no oth­er options are avail­able to counter the threat effectively. 

Dur­ing Petraeus’s con­fir­ma­tion hear­ings, sen­a­tors queried him about troops hav­ing dif­fer­ing meth­ods of apply­ing the tac­ti­cal direc­tive that was in place at the time. “We must be con­sis­tent through­out the force in our appli­ca­tion of this direc­tive and our rules of engage­ment,” Petraeus said. “All com­man­ders must rein­force the right and oblig­a­tion of self-defense of coali­tion forces, of our Afghan part­ners, and of oth­ers as autho­rized by the rules of engagement.” 

The gen­er­al said that lead­ers must train forces to know and under­stand the rules of engage­ment and the intent of the tac­ti­cal directive. 

“We must give our troop­ers the con­fi­dence to take all nec­es­sary actions when it mat­ters most, while under­stand­ing the strate­gic con­se­quences of civil­ian casu­al­ties,” Petraeus said.

“Indeed, I expect our troop­ers to exert their best judg­ment accord­ing to the sit­u­a­tion on the ground. Beyond that, every sol­dier, sailor, air­man and Marine has my full sup­port as we take the fight to the enemy.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →