Rules of Engagement

A Quiz: The Tough Choices

The scenarios outlined below are reproduced from a PowerPoint presentation given to Kilo Company 3/1 in an August 2005 class on the rules of engagement (ROE) prior to their deployment to Haditha, Iraq. Try it yourself to test your knowledge of the ROE.

1) Your unit is patrolling in a heavily populated Iraqi city. As you move toward a mosque, a crowd of about 300 people approaches, blocking the road. They come within 100 meters, shouting insults and anti-coalition statements in Arabic and broken English. What do the ROE allow you to do?

  A. Be alert, maintain a defensive posture and detain anyone purposefully interfering with your mission.

  B. Engage in deadly force if you can understand their insults.

  C. Run away.

  D. Engage with deadly force. By blocking the road, they are interfering with your mission, so you can use deadly force.

2) Same crowd as in Situation 1, only now some of the people have sticks, hammers, clubs, and glass soda bottles that appear to have kerosene in them, but you see no firearms. Now what?

  A. Shoot the Iraqis carrying the Evian bottles because carrying kerosene shows hostile intent.

  B. Shoot the Iraqis carrying Evian bottles because [Evian] is manufactured in France.

  C. Throw CS [gas] grenades.

  D. Use the minimum force necessary, but understand that you may use deadly force immediately against any individual in the crowd who demonstrates hostile intent or commit a hostile act.

3) Same crowd as in Situation 1, except that now you see that the crowd has surrounded a single civilian. They are beating him with clubs. From what he can hear, your interpreter explains that the individual being beaten is a former Ba'ath Party member. What do the ROE allow you to do?

  A. Place odds on the Ba'ath Party member's chance of escape.

  B. Intervene unless doing so would unduly endanger you or your unit. You can use deadly force if necessary to prevent serious crime (rape, murder, aggravated assault).

  C. Who cares? He's a Ba'ath Party member.

  D. Run away.

4) Your squad has been assigned the mission of patrolling a 10-block section of downtown Iraqiville. As your column of HMMWVs [High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle or Humvee] turns down a narrow street, a crowd forms and begins to press in around you. Your squad leader exits his vehicle in an attempt to calm the crowd and clear a path for the column. Suddenly, an Iraqi male in civilian attire approaches your squad leader from a side alley, pulls out a pistol and shoots him in the neck. Just as quickly, the perpetrator runs into the crowd and can no longer be seen. What do you do?

  A. If you regain PID [Positive Identification] of the shooter, you may kill or capture him because he CONTINUES to remain a threat.

  B. Spray the crowd with automatic fire in the hopes of killing the shooter.

  C. Arrest as many of the Iraqis as possible because they witnessed the shooting and did nothing to stop it.

  D. Kill or capture the shooter in order to revenge the death of your squad leader.

5) You are part of a patrol in the outskirts of a large Iraqi town. As your patrol rounds a street corner, you begin to take sporadic fire from a group of four Iraqis a block or two away. Your squad returns fire and pursues the perpetrators. After moving up the street, you see the Iraqis dash into a nearby mosque. What do you do?

  A. Immediately bomb the mosque.

  B. Wait until evening prayers, then bomb the mosque.

  C. You may pursue the attackers into the mosque using deadly force, if necessary.

  D. Nothing. A mosque is a protected place so you may not enter it, damage it or fire into it.

6) You are on patrol and come under attack from small arms fire directly in front of you. You take cover and as you prepare to return fire, you notice three Iraqi Police standing with AK-47s at sling arms near the point of origin of the small arms attack. What should your response be?

  A. Kill the Iraqi police because they are probably responsible for the attack or at least condoned it.

  B. You should NOT fire on the Iraqi police, unless you are reasonably certain they are the source of the attack.

  C. Remain vigilant, prepare to engage the source of the hostile fire, whether it's the Iraqi police or others.

7) You are on patrol crossing a road when two vehicles speed past your unit's position toward a coalition checkpoint. The vehicles stop short of the checkpoint, quickly make U-turns and begin speeding back towards your unit's position. When they turned, you noticed reflective tape on the doors of each vehicle. You can also see 2-3 individuals in each vehicle, and some of them have AK-47s pointed outboard. What is your response?

  A. Stop the vehicle so you can search it and ascertain the occupants' intent.

  B. Stay alert, but don't immediately engage the vehicle or personnel inside unless they commit a hostile act or show hostile intent.

  C. Immediately engage the vehicle with deadly force because they are racing toward you and might have hostile intent.

  D. Do nothing. The reflective tape indicates that the vehicle is an Iraqi police vehicle, so they pose no threat.

8) While in a convoy, you notice an individual crouched behind a tree next to the road you are traveling. In front of the individual and closer to the road, you see something like a trash bag, animal carcass or other object. What can you do?

  A. Detain the individual for questioning due to his suspicious activity.

  B. Shoot to kill the individual because crouching behind a tree is unnatural.

  C. Shoot a warning shot over the Iraqi's head to see what he does next.

  D. Do nothing because you aren't justified in using deadly force.

9) What if that same individual raises his weapon, points it at you without firing, then flees with his weapon before you can engage him?

  A. Nothing. He's running away and no longer poses a threat so we can't engage him.

  B. You may engage with deadly force.

  C. You can engage, but you have to escalate the force you use in self-defense by first shouting a warning, then shooting a warning shot, then engaging ONLY if the lesser forms of force don't work.

  D. Nothing, unless you can tell that the weapon is functional.

10) Same object in the road as in the previous scenario, only now there are children on the opposite side of the road watching your convoy, pointing at you, and talking to someone you cannot see. It is possible they are acting as "spotters." Can you use force against the children?

  A. No. No amount of force is authorized in this situation because you're not sure what the children were doing.

  B. You should stop the children and question them. If they are aiding the enemy, you may detain them.

  C. Engage them with deadly force. It's possible that they were helping the enemy target Americans.

  D. Do not engage. Deadly force is NEVER authorized against children.

11) You are in a three-vehicle convoy moving toward your FOB [Forward Operating Base]. It's dark but the road is clear and there are no other vehicles in the area. Suddenly, a sedan rapidly approaches the convoy from the rear, pulling up to a few feet from the rear vehicle in the convoy. You train your .50 cal[iber] on the car, 50 feet away, and notice that the passenger in the vehicle appears to be reaching for something on the floor of his vehicle. What do you do?

  A. Immediately engage the vehicle and the occupants with the .50 cal.

  B. Immediately engage the vehicle with the .50 cal, but not the people because using a .50 cal on people is a violation of the law of war.

  C. Stay ready, prepare to fire if you observe hostile intent or hostile act.

  D. Do nothing and don't aim your .50 cal at the vehicle because it might upset them and cause them to dislike Americans. We need to do everything possible to win their hearts and minds.

12) You are in a five-vehicle convoy moving out of Iraqiville, mid-afternoon, at 60 mph. As you pass under an overpass you observe an adult male, with a grenade-sized object in his hand, looking over the pedestrian railing above your lane. You cannot tell what's in the man's hand. What do you do?

  A. Kill the adult man on the bridge. No innocent man would be looking over the railing.

  B. Kill the adult man on the bridge. The object is either a grenade or a can of beer. Either way, he's committing a crime so you can engage with deadly force.

  C. Stay ready, observe the man on the bridge and prepare to fire if you observe hostile intent or hostile act.

13) You are in the lead armored HMMWV escorting a four-vehicle convoy along HWY 1. There is a flash behind you followed by a loud explosion as one of the NTVs [Non-Tactical Vehicle] in the convoy disappears in a cloud of dust and smoke. You see two males 200 meters away from you mount a motorcycle and speed away. You also see an orange sedan back out of a driveway 150 meters south of your position and speed away. Three males in a roadside stand 100 meters up the road run into a nearby house, but you start taking small-arms fire from a different house 150 meters west of your position. What do you do?

  A. You should respond with deadly force to the hostile fire coming from the house, remaining vigilant to the other possible threats in the area.

  B. You should engage the fleeing men on the motorcycle first because they'll be beyond effective range if you wait.

  C. Engage everywhere you see movement because there's no telling who detonated the IED [Improvised Explosive Device].

14) The convoy you are in suffers an IED attack on the unpopulated outskirts of Baghdad. As you focus your attention on the location of the IED, you notice two individuals in civilian clothes and no weapons jump up out of [a] fighting hole about 40 meters away from where the IED exploded and run away from you. You quickly ascertain the individuals were within command-detonation range of the IED. What can you do?

  A. Nothing because you don't have enough information to know for certain that the fleeing men detonated the IED.

  B. You can engage with deadly force, ONLY after you fire a warning shot first.

  C. You may engage the individuals with the necessary force, including deadly force, to prevent their escape.

  D. Detain, but do not kill the fleeing men. Running away is just like surrender and prevents us from killing him.

15) You are manning a nighttime OP [Observation Post]. Through your NVGs [Night Vision Goggles], you spot two Iraqi men stealing TVs and other electronics from a mom & pop store. What can you do?

  A. Nothing because you can NEVER shoot looters.

  B. Do not use deadly force, because you can't shoot looters of NON-essential equipment. You may detain, arrest and turn the looters over to the Iraqi police if time and situation permit.

  C. Nothing, the electronics store probably belonged to a Ba'ath Party member.

  D. Nothing because we can't get involved in "Iraqi crimes." We're only worried about combatants.

16) You are manning a nighttime OP. Through your NVGs, you spot an Iraqi stealing AK-47s from an Iraqi armory 500 meters away. What do you do?

  A. Nothing. Using deadly force to stop a person stealing a few AK-47s is disproportionate use of force and therefore a war crime.

  B. Sight alignment, trigger control. You should engage with deadly force.

  C. You should call the Iraqi police and let them detain the thieves.

  D. Nothing. Weapons aren't considered mission-essential, unless they are U.S. weapons.

17) Your six-vehicle convoy has halted on the outskirts of Iraqiville due to a vehicle breakdown. The convoy commander has assessed that the area is secure enough to stop to attempt repairs. He has also briefed certain equipment as being mission essential, including NVGs.

A crowd of locals gathers around your vehicles. In spite of your warnings, some teenagers move closer to your vehicle. Before you can react, the group scatters. One of the fleeing locals has what appears to be your NVGs. What do you do?

  A. You should engage using graduated force, up to and including deadly force, to detain the youth, but can immediately engage using deadly force if required.

  A. Nothing, NVGs shouldn't be declared mission-essential equipment.

  A. Ignore the convoy commander and let the youth take the NVGs, it is one less thing you have to be responsible for.

18) Would it make any difference if items were being looted from a U.S. Army vehicle that had been disabled by an IED?

  A. Yes.

  B. No.

19) During a nighttime Cordon and Knock on the residence of an influential Sunni businessman suspected of funding anti-coalition activities, you notice two individuals fleeing the scene on rooftops. Without further details, what do you do?

  A. Engage with deadly force. Fleeing is an indicator of hostile intent. Why would they run if they were innocent?

  B. Engage with CS grenade. I know we can't use deadly force but the CS won't kill them. Perfect solution.

  C. You should not engage the individuals. You may detain the fleeing individuals in order to gain intelligence.


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posted february 19, 2008

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