Had lunch with a Marine officer who has served three tours in Iraq. He remains extremely disturbed about the ROE (rules of engagement), which he said grew increasingly constricting. He talked, for example, about the insanity of repeatedly arresting and releasing (and arresting and releasing again) enemy fighters, and noted "you can't shoot someone setting an IED...."
Why not? Why couldn't the US have announced that IED-booby-trappers would be shot? The message could have been broadcast in mosques, through leaflets, the works. It seems like the grossest act of US civilian and US military negligence not to have done so, particularly looking back on all our (Iranian-made) IED casualties in Iraq. Such a common-sense policy, however, isn't PC, and PC always comes first.
My Marine friend thinks if we had implemented such a policy, we could have wrapped up Iraq in a year.