Possible discussion point: "courageous restraint" in action.
ABC News reporter Martha Raddatz was allowed to fly in an Air Force F-15E fighter jet on a combat mission in Afghanistan. The plane was loaded with 500-pound bombs and ready to protect coalition forces on the ground. But the guiding principle of the mission, Raddatz writes, was to exercise “courageous restraint,” that is, to not fire at the enemy if there were the possibility that civilians might be hurt or if buildings might be damaged — even if that meant that American or coalition forces were in great danger.
“Sometimes not firing can be tough,” Raddatz writes. “Pilots say it’s hard to watch their fellow soldiers on the ground taking fire.”
But that’s what they do, under orders from top American commanders. On this mission, when a French officer on the ground requested a bomb be dropped on the enemy, the U.S. pilot said no, opting for strafing instead because it would be safer for those on the ground — except, of course, for the coalition forces.
Are our leaders prioritizing our troops' lives below civilians, or is reducing collateral damage the only effective way to fight this war?