By Jack Mandaville I want to make a few of my...
Beheading a Taliban – Good or Bad?
If you don’t know who Gurkhas are, get thee to Wikipedia immediately! They’re some of the fiercest warriors ever. So much so that the British decided to offer them a place of honour (as they spell it in English) in their Army, mostly because they couldn’t beat them in battle and the Brits are nothing if not reverent to those who can fight (although they never offered the same honour to the Zulus who kicked their asses).
So, here’s how the story goes. In the heat of battle, a Gurkha, fighting alongside some Brits, decides that his life is in danger and he needs to skeedeaddle from the target area ASAP. But he also knows he has to positively identify the Taliban target his unit came to neutralize when he gets back to camp. With bullets whizzing by his head, he makes a decision and lops off the head of the already-dead Taliban they came to get. His unit exfiltrates the AO and all go home safely.
But upon hearing that one of his Gurkhas decapitated a terrorist, some snooty British Officer decides to punish the soldier. That’s the Cliff’s Notes version of the story. The full read is here.
So we ask, Ranger Up nation, what do you think? Did he do the right thing or is he a barbarian that doesn’t need to be in uniform? Was he merely administering the same treatment to the enemy that they’ve shown us, or did he go too far and violate the rules of civilized warfare? Was he following orders as he saw them or is he a bloodthirsty savage? Is he to blame or is his chain of command for not putting, “no beheading of bad guys is allowed” in the Operations Order?
And what if it was an American soldier? What would we have done if a US Army soldier cut of a head in order to E&E from a hot LZ?