Saturday, February 25, 2017

Pentagon ditches onerous rules of engagement, gives Mosul troops quicker firepower access

Via Billy

In this Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 photo, U.S. Army soldiers stand outside their armored vehicle on a joint base with Iraqi army south of Mosul, Iraq. As Iraqi forces push into western Mosul coalition troops are closer to frontline fighting than ever before. Coalition forces have moved their bases closer to the front, relaxed their rules of engagement and during the push on Mosul airport coalition advisors were embedded with forward Iraqi rapid response and special forces units. Coalition officials say the change is helping speed up Iraqi military gains, but it marks a steady escalation of U.S. involvement in Iraq that could undermine the sustainability of Iraq's territorial victories. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)

Iraqi forces and U.S. coalition troops are no longer burdened by strict rules of engagement, which some say have turned firepower requests into bureaucratic nightmares.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. James Browning, commander of 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, recently spoke with reporters about a Dec. 26 directive that streamlined the process of delivering aid. The order, attributed to U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, was confirmed on Thursday by Air Force Col. John Dorrian, the U.S.-led coalition’s spokesman.
“It changed the relationship [between forces],” Lt. Col. Browning told The Associated Press about increased flexibility on the battlefield. “It gives me a better understanding of how I can bring to bear the limited capabilities I have.”

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