Our once mighty armed forces have been neutered over the last few generations by a series of increasingly risk averse administrations that insist on total control over every aspect of any military operation that has the slightest risk of collateral damage.
Of course that is an impossible thing to control, because military action isn’t perfect; it never was, and it never will be. There is always a risk of civilian casualties…of innocents being injured and killed and civilian infrastructure being destroyed. It is the nature of war.
Restricting the military to action only after civilian approval of every bomb dropped and missile launched and very possibly every rifle round fired is a recipe for disaster. It removes initiative from our military commanders and reinforces the idea that they are not in control of the battlefield; that their mission is to do what they are told by others, and the goal of winning battles and wars is secondary.
So we get ridiculous decisions like this one:
US military had drone lock on Kabul suicide bomber, didn’t take the shot: former official
[…]the Department of Defense also knew “where and when” the attack would happen. He said that “a Predator drone had a lock on him,” and that the DOD “refused to grant permission to fire upon that bomber.”
This nonsense took over our military in Vietnam, and it has gotten worse and worse. It is only a matter of time before a rifleman must ask permission to fire from his sergeant, who asks his lieutenant, who asks his captain, who radios to his colonel, who contacts…
Pretty soon the president of the United States will be approving every round fired in anger, and the command structure of our armed forces will simply be communications lackeys without any ability to act with speed and initiative.
So we shouldn’t be surprised that the catastrophic retreat from Afghanistan turned out the way it did. We no longer have leaders…we have drones.