Gen. David Petraeus has hinted that he might rethink the rules of engagement now that he’s in charge of the war in Afghanistan. The current rules, ushered in by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, were designed to reduce civilian casualties but have proved unpopular with the rank and file. Afghan civilians, who already avoid contact with U.S. military, are worried.

Los Angeles Times:

In the heat of battle, the restrictions can diminish to the vanishing point the American advantages of superior firepower and technology, some field commanders say, thus leaving small units particularly vulnerable.

The change of command in Afghanistan has civilians worried that it will make it even more dangerous to come into contact with the foreign forces in their midst. Already, many motorists freeze with anxiety at the sight of a Western convoy or when coming up on a military checkpoint, fearing they will be taken for would-be suicide attackers and shot.

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