Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Condemns Taliban Use of Human Shields in Afghanistan

May 2009

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) commends America's report on the use of human shields by Taliban militants in their fight to seize power in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Their propaganda machine then accuses the United States of causing these casualties without reference to their true cause.

As JWV Past National Commander Robert Zweiman wrote in 2007 in regard to the conflict in Iraq, "Rules of Engagement (ROE) and the Law of War (LOW) have been created to add civility to war and restrict self-defense to the most extreme conditions...It can also be explained as a basis for death and defeat if your opponent doesn't believe in civility and wants only to win."

In the ever-escalating conflict against the resurgent Taliban, the same issues of a guerrilla force flouting the concept of ROE and LOW are an issue on the battleground of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Taliban has become adept at herding innocent Afghan villagers into houses and then calling for help that they know will result in American war strikes. The Taliban then attempts to gain sympathy among the Afghani and Pakistani population and turns the populace against the Americans by accusing American troops of responsibility for these civilian deaths that had actually occurred as a result of the Taliban's callous disregard for life.

The lessons of Iraq must not be forgotten. The Taliban cannot be allowed to advance and, most importantly, to threaten the world with possession of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. The concept of ROE must be revised for the reality of guerrilla conflict.

As PNC Zweiman said previously, "The new face of war with its insurgency and guerrilla methodology requires not victory, but the sustaining of success with an enemy which restrains its actions. It also requires the military wherewithal to enforce the conditions.

The Rules of Engagement and the Law of War must not merely be revised but totally restructured to meet current requirements for [stability]. We should not be constrained in going against an enemy which hides itself behind religious or civilian facades.

If there is to be a bloodbath, let it be theirs."


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