, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Imagine you are leading a platoon-sized combat patrol of dismounted infantry into enemy-controlled territory where U.S. forces have been attacked each and every time they ventured there during the previous 30 days. Without doubt, it is a combat zone, not Anytown, USA. /1
WIthin the past 3 weeks, an enemy sniper shot a U.S. soldier in the throat and a planted IED wounded 2 soldiers on that same ground you must travel to reach your objective. Using motorcycles, there has been a recent spike in VBIED suicide bombing attacks by the Taliban ... /2
around the country including one that killed U.S. soldiers (in a relatively "safe" area) and another that killed 22 civilans outside nearby Kandahar Airbase. Your immediate challenge is a report of a gathering nearby NW of you of military-aged men acting like the enemy. /3
And they are on motorcycles. They disperse but that is a known enemy tactic indicating you'll be attacked once you reach the objective village. You've sent your heavy weapons squad in that direction to put eyes on them while you move north towards the objective. /4
Moments later, one soldier spots 3 men on a motorcycle on a road clearly marked as to be used only by ISAF/ANA (your side's) military and police just east of you and the objective. They are headed towards your trail element crossing the road. /5
The soldier asks for permission to fire. You give it. He misses but the motorcycle keeps speeding towards your troops. The riders are acting like they are part of the enemy's plan to attack you. Within seconds, they'll be in close proximity to dismounted infantry .. /6
most likely shooting at and blowing up your troops. Maybe not, but lives and limbs are at grave risk, it is your responsibility to give an order, shoot or don't shoot, and you've second to make a decision. You order your gun truck to fire 2 shots to eliminate the threat. /7
Two later verified to be Taliban (that fact is withheld from your lawyers and the jury deciding your fate) die and the 3rd escapes. The motorcycle doesn't explode but is dragged off by villagers so it is never examined for bombs. /8
Maddingly, and without basis, that evening your battalion commander questions your decision to fire upon 3 guys "coming to meeting." (Pardon my French ... WTF?) Oh, that's right, dead guy #2 was the village "elder." His fellow riders were realtives & Taliban bombers. /9
No matter a battle was shaping up and your company command post had received intel 40 minutes before you launched on the mission indicating your patrol would be ambushed. No matter that there was no scheduled meeting. No matter that the road was closed to civilian traffice. /10
You've being convicted by your chain of command, guilty without a chance to defend yourself. But it will get worse. Your chain of command will not tell you or your lawyers, and procecutors will withhold exulpatory evidence from your defense and the jury trying you for murder. /11
I ask you, @POTUS @realDonaldTrump, is that any way to treat an American soldier fighting for our country and risking all on a battlefield his leaders sent him on to? I don't think so. /12 #Trump 🇺🇸
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