Sgt. Peter Rayner, age 34: "Unlawfully killed" in Afghanistan, says British coroner. By COIN, I would add.
I don't quite understand the British system of inquiry into death on the battlefield, but I greatly admire these efforts to explain and expose to the public the circumstances surrounding, leading up to and, in the execution of counterinsurgency doctrine (COIN), directly causing each tragic and unnecessary casualty.
The Daily Mail reports on one such inquest this week. For illustrating the madness of COIN, the lead says it all:
Soldiers were ordered not to open fire on Taliban fighters planting mines in case they disturb local people, it has been claimed. U.S. military chiefs ordered troops to exercise 'courageous constraint' and even warned them they could be charged with murder if they shot any Taliban without permission from above.
The claims were made by a former Royal Marine who spoke out following the inquest into the death of Sergeant Peter Rayner last week.
In case they disturb local people ... charged with murder if the shot any Taliban .... I don't know what more there is to say to draw attention to the madness of COIN zealotry as conceived of and practiced by Gen. Petraeus on down. In the parallel universe, however, Petraeus and his strategy are celebrated in "reporting" that gushes like Hollywood promo copy.
Back to reality:
At the hearing in Bradford, [Sgt. Rayner's] widow Wendy Rayner revealed how her husband was blown up days after senior officers had apparently 'laughed off' his complaints that insurgents were being allowed to plant explosive devices unchallenged.
The 34-year-old phoned his wife in a ‘highly stressed’ state four days before his death and was upset that his fears were not taken seriously.
This highly stressed call echoes the last communication Chelsea McLain had from her husband Pvt. Buddy McLain before he was killed late last year along with five other American soldiers after tea with their Afghan police killer, as NATO reported. Buddy told his wife he was uneasy about training the Afghans and giving them guns. He was right. Sgt. Rayner was right, too.
[Wendy Rayner] said he and his men had watched the enemy, using night-vision goggles, plant improvised explosive devices and were not allowed to attack them. He was allegedly told by one officer: ‘I am an Army Captain and you will do your job.’