Let’s do away with the dangerous euphemism “rules of engagement.” People are not getting married, but maimed and killed. So let’s call it what it really is: the “death and dismemberment equation.” If Gen. David H. Petraeus adjusts the equation to protect our troops, more civilians will die and the Taliban will continue to gather strength. If he protects civilians, our soldiers become sitting ducks. In either case, the result is another Vietnam.
There is no “golden mean” in the equations of war, death and dismemberment. Rather than rules of engagement, we need a quick divorce.