Those given the awful task of combat must be able to act with the necessary savagery and purposefulness to destroy those acting as, or in direct support of, Islamic terrorists worldwide. In 2008, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Admiral Michael Mullen said, “We can’t kill our way to victory.” Ever since, many have parroted his words. But what if Admiral Mullen was wrong? The United States has been at war with radical Islamists four times longer than it was with Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in World War II. And those previous enemies were far more competent and aggressive than the terrorists. It is time to kill a lot more of them.
Too many commanders and their “operational law” judge advocates have neutered U.S. military forces with far too restrictive rules of engagement and investigations. 1 One Army infantry battalion commander reported that during a 15-month command tour in Iraq, he had to endure 600 AR 15-6 investigations (equivalent to a Navy JAG manual investigation), most of which examined the use of force by his troops. When asked when he had time to command, he answered, “Exactly.”
Human behavior has not changed much in recorded history. Neither have the basic tenets of war. It takes killing with speed and sustained effect to win wars. The notions that the U.S. military can win with “precision strikes” or “winning hearts and minds” are fantasy. Even the great victory in Operation Desert Storm was a bloody killing field. Just ask the remnants of the Tawakalna Division of the Iraqi Army.
Source: Can’t Kill Enough to Win? Think Again | U.S. Naval Institute