The Army has determined that the soldiers in a January YouTube allegedly shown firing on what appears to be a civilian truck acted in line with the rules of engagement, Army Criminal Investigation Command told Vice News.
- The video: Briefly uploaded to YouTube under the title ‘Happy Few Ordnance Symphony’ and first surfaced by Politico, the video in question contained a compilation of wartime clips purportedly captured amid the campaign against ISIS’s Afghan affiliate synced to rapper Kendrick Lamar’s song, “Humble.”
- The investigation: U.S. Central Command launched an investigation shortly following the Politico report to see whether its troops violated the rules of engagement after the footage surfaced online; Army Chief of Public Affairs Christopher Grey told Vice News the investigation had concluded that the unidentified service members involved in the incident had acted “in accordance” with the rules of engagement.
- The rules of engagement: The incident came months after Secretary of Defense James Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee on Oct. 3 that Trump had granted him the authority to make adjustments to the rules of engagement in an effort to expedite the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan, including removing “proximity requirements” for strikes on Taliban insurgents, and embedding U.S. military personnel within the Afghan security forces below the division level.
It’s worth noting that in the age of digital media, ‘Happy Few Ordnance Symphony’ is just one example of U.S. service members documenting the reality of war downrange on their own accord.
“Today, there seems to be an unspoken agreement between the Pentagon and the American public: As long as the former keeps the War on Terror out of sight, the latter will keep it out of mind,” T&P’s Adam Linehan wrote in the weeks following the video’s appearance on YouTube. “Most Americans sleep peaceably in their beds at night, oblivious to the fact that rough men and women are perpetually doing violence on their behalf.”