Apr. 28, 2016
- Israel a Role Model for U.S. Air Force – Jonathan S. Tobin
U.S. Air Force Gen. Peter Gersten said this week that Americans seeking to take out terrorists embedded in civilian areas were now using the “knock on the roof” technique created by the Israelis. During the fighting in Gaza, the Israelis sought to warn civilians in a building that was being used by Hamas by shooting a non-explosive device onto the roof allowing non-combatants as well as any terrorists present to escape. The tactic saved many lives, though sometimes Hamas discouraged civilians from availing themselves of the chance to get out of harm’s way.
Of course, when one is fighting terrorists who deliberately choose to place themselves in and around civilians, no technique is foolproof. As Gen. Gersten admitted, a women and child were killed when the Americans tried the “knock on the roof” tactic in Mosul because, unfortunately, they rushed back into the building when the lethal shell hit.
The rules of engagement used by Israel are highly restrictive as are those of the U.S. armed forces. But if terrorists are in built-up areas, they must still be tracked down and killed lest they be allowed to slaughter even more innocents. The Israelis have been role models for Americans tasked with the same thankless job of hunting killers. (Commentary)