The classified, full-committee briefing will cover tactical directives that limit the use of force by NATO troops, according to a letter sent by Rep. Ike Skelton, D.-Mo.
Skelton said in his Aug. 26 letter to the three congressmen that he shared their “deep interest in ensuring that the members of the Armed Forces serve in conditions which allow them to act in self defense and provide sufficient force protection.”
The rules of engagement have been under a steady barrage of fire since July 2009, when Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, then commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, issued guidelines directing “leaders at all levels to scrutinize and limit the use of force such as close-air support against residential compounds and other locations likely to produce civilian casualties.” He also restricted the use of air-to-ground munitions and indirect fire, such as artillery rounds, against residences.
Furthermore, concerns come also from marines in Afghanistan, who have complained that insurgents regularly hide their weapons in fields and ditches, making it easy to blend in with civilians after a firefight.
Critics of McChrystal’s directives had hoped that the rules of engagement would be altered this summer, after he resigned in June. But McChrystal’s replacement, Army Gen. David Petraeus, issued a tactical directive update last month that appeared to reinforce many of the previous rules.