Afghans Fear More Killings When Petraeus Revises Rules of Engagement

Sen. Lieberman Says Rules Aimed at Cutting Civilian Toll 'Hurting Morale'

Amid the pomp and circumstance of Gen. David Petraeus’ official swearing in ceremony for taking control of the endless NATO war in Afghanistan, locals are expressing concerns that the new commander’s new policies will cost them their lives.

Though the general has repeatedly insisted that the broad brushes of the war strategy will remain unchanged, officials have repeatedly suggested that he will make revisions to Gen. McChrystal’s rules of engagement, paring away a number of rules aimed at reducing the number of civilians killed by the nearly 150,000 international troops.

McChrystal’s rules were not particularly successful, as the death toll continued to rise throughout his tenure as war commander, but with a formal eschewing of attempts to cut down on these deaths, the toll may again rise precipitously.

Which isn’t a big deal to some officials. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I – CT) today advocated severely curbing rules aimed at avoiding civilian deaths saying that while civilian casualties “hurt the cause” the efforts to avoid them were hurting morale and “we can’t let that happen.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.