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McChrystal's "courageous restraint" putting soldiers' lives in danger in Afghanistan

By Samyuktha

London, July 7 (ANI): Troops serving on the front line in Afghanistan have complained that restrictive rules on firing upon the Taliban are putting soldiers' lives in danger.

According to the Telegraph, soldiers in Helmand have claimed that the policy of "courageous restraint" is forcing them to fight with one hand tied behind their backs.

"The policy was making troops think twice before pulling the trigger which endangers them. A couple of times I've hesitated in shooting someone when I should have done. Some lads have put themselves in danger by allowing a possible suicide bomber too close," the paper quoted a Royal Marine, as saying.

The doctrine was introduced by Gen Stanley McChrystal, the former American commander, to reduce the number of civilian casualties, which are mainly caused by aircraft bombs or artillery missiles.he report stated that General David Petraeus, who took over when General McChrystal was sacked, is believed to be reviewing the policy in place since the fighting began in June 2001.

A senior Non-Commissioned Officer, on his third tour of Afghanistan, said that the rules of engagement had 'gone too far one way' in favour of the insurgents.

"Our hands are tied the way we are asked to do courageous restraint. I agree with it to the extent that previously too many civilians were killed but we have got people shooting us and we are not allowed to shoot back. Outrageous restraint is a lot easier to say than to implement," the paper quoted him, as saying.

Earlier, in guidlines issued on August 2009, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former US commander in Afghanistan, stated that "destroying a home or property jeopardises the livelihood of an entire family and creates more insurgents" and that "large scale operations to kill or capture militants carry a significant risk of causing civilian casualties and collateral damage".

"It's a major bugbear for the British Army, it affects us massively. Thank God we have the ANA (Afghan National Army) here because they have different rules of engagement to us and can smash the enemy," the paper quoted a junior officer commanding a small fort in Sangin, as saying.

Meanwhile, Some locals in Sangin have criticised the troops for "not taking out" the Taliban who intimidate and harm them. (ANI)

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