Here's my amateur take on ROE vs. RUF and a response to Greyhawk:
Violating ROE usually is a Law of Armed Conflict violation, that can get you sent to jail. e.g. Shoot an unarmed civilian.
Violating RUF is a UCMJ violation, disobeying (or failure to follow) a direct order. That said, I think there is some leeway in RUF, situation dependent, and commander dependent. e.g. utilizing force that while within ROE violates rules imposed by the command.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is my take.
Greyhawk (welcome!) uses our Sofia battle as an example. He asks the impact of the new rules on that. Here are my observations as the guy who managed the BCT level fight:
1) We didn't fire indirect into populated areas, because of standing RUF rules.
2) We utilized aircraft "shows of force" to scare the insurgents away from the populated areas, as well as artillery fired into empty nearby fields.
3) We waited until the insurgents were "in the open" to engage and destroy them.
Now, the obvious danger is that the insurgents didn't necessarily know we couldn't engage them with the aircraft and artillery in their engagement against the tribe. However, if that had been the situation I think we could have rapidly gotten permission to use other assets. I can't go into what our restrictions were on weapons employment in public but let's say most of our larger strikes required 2-star level approval, which usually could be had in less than 10 minutes. I think tactical flexibility could be granted rapidly as well. The broader point is that even if we hadn't had the restrictions, attempting to separate the enemy from the populace was the right thing to do. Leveling the Soda tribe area wouldn't have helped the awakening to get at the AQ guys.
And then there is the Cavguy solution. If you're on the ground, and the right and obvious thing to do is staring you in the face, just do it, and take the consequences. That's actually what we did that day of the video. My army experiences tell me well considered violations of rules/guidance is generally underwritten by most commanders, especially if conditions warrant.
"A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."
- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
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Last edited by Cavguy; 06-26-2009 at 08:36 PM.