Am I the only one who has wondered why there have been a couple of incidents of British military personnel being captured by Iranians without any resistance from the British?
It seemed odd to me each time. After all, the British are known to be disciplined and fierce warriors. The British are certainly known to have one of the best Naval services in the world. That’s their reputation. It has been for centuries. The British Navy defeated the Spanish Armada for crying out loud.
Here’s the story.
A senior American commander in the Gulf has said his men would have fired on the Iranian Republican Guard rather than let themselves be taken hostage.
In a dramatic illustration of the different postures adopted by British and US forces working together in Iraq, Lt-Cdr Erik Horner – who has been working alongside the task force to which the 15 captured Britons belonged – said he was “surprised” the British marines and sailors had not been more aggressive.
Asked by The Independent whether the men under his command would have fired on the Iranians, he said: “Agreed. Yes. I don’t want to second-guess the British after the fact but our rules of engagement allow a little more latitude. Our boarding team’s training is a little bit more towards self-preservation.”
The executive officer – second-in-command on USS Underwood, the frigate working in the British-controlled task force with HMS Cornwall – said: “The unique US Navy rules of engagement say we not only have a right to self-defence but also an obligation to self-defence. They [the British] had every right in my mind and every justification to defend themselves rather than allow themselves to be taken. Our reaction was, ‘Why didn’t your guys defend themselves?’”
The British had been warned by the CIA that the Iranians were looking for retribution for the capture of Iranian operatives in Iraq. Over the past two months over 300 Iranians intelligence officers have been captured in Iraq. The British did not raise their threat level in response to the Iranian threat.
Apparently, the British rules of engagement are even more restrictive than the American rules of engagement.
Yesterday, the former First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West, said British rules of engagement were “very much de-escalatory, because we don’t want wars starting … Rather than roaring into action and sinking everything in sight we try to step back and that, of course, is why our chaps were, in effect, able to be captured and taken away.”
Can you just imagine what that kind of statement does for the morale of the British Troops!
Meanwhile, eight British Sailors and seven Royal Marines are being ‘interrogated’ in Tehran. One of them is a new mother.
No one questions the bravery, valor, gallantry and aggressiveness of the British military men and women. What I question is the rules of engagement under which they are having to operate. I thought our military had their hands tied, it’s nothing compared to this.
Would you want your son or daughter having to go to war without the ability to defend themselves?
I imagine Winston Churchill is undoubtedly rolling over in his grave.
Previous: Britain Demands Iran Free Seized Sailors
Disclaimer: trackbacks to this post do not necessarily represent the opinions or standards of the Blue Star Chronicles.
More great posts below …