In April, British Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, who commands NATO forces in southern Afghanistan, proposed creating an award for "courageous restraint." As avoiding the loss of civilian life is a cornerstone of the coalition's counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan, does rewarding restraint makes sense? Is restraint a courageous act of discipline under fire or does it put our troops in danger?
On Facebook, Takeaway listener, Rusty Roy wrote:
We look deeper at the issue of the rules of engagement and this award with an American veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Greg Papadatos is a sergeant in the Army National Guard, and served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Both men think rewarding restraint represents somewhat circular logic.
"How can you award someone for not pulling a trigger?", Papadatos asks. "There's nothing that would make someone deliberately kill a civilian, so what would they be rewarding?"