Rules Of Engagement
James Wolcott noticed a successful plan for Iraq: Do the Right Thing, then Go
His article points to an op-ed piece by William S. Lind: Doing It Right
about a California National Guard unit that is keeping the peace in a small area of Iraq by acting like police officers, not soldiers.
I was in both the military and law enforcement: the rules of engagement are very different. If you don't act like the military when taking a country, you die. If you don't act like a police officer when you occupy a country, a lot of civilians will die before you are killed.
The role of the police officer in society is to keep the peace. Whenever possible a police officer will try to calm down a situation and not instantly respond with violence. Soldiers are trained to respond to any perceived threat with violence, not de-escalation.
We have too few soldiers, and they have the wrong skills.