Rules of Engagement

Rules of engagement (ROE) are guidelines to help commanders minimize unnecessary collateral damage while protecting their inherent right of self-defense during operations. Theater and operational ROE are derived from standing ROE issued by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and limitations described by the National Command Authority. The mission, enemy threat, and host nation constraints also contribute to development of the ROE. Once approved, ROE are printed and issued to subordinate commands. In most cases, every soldier carries a copy. The basic tenets of ROE are that they should be easy to read and understand and that they must clearly indicate the circumstances under which soldiers may use deadly force to defend themselves and achieve mission success. This entry looks at the evolution of ROE in ...

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