From the AP, via Military.com:
FORWARD OPERATING BASE RAMROD, Afghanistan — NATO commanders are weighing a new way to reduce civilian casualties in Afghanistan: recognizing troops for “courageous restraint” if they avoid using force that could endanger innocent lives.
The concept comes as the coalition continues to struggle with the problem of civilian casualties despite repeated warnings from the top NATO commander, U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, that the war effort hinges on the ability to protect the population and win support away from the Taliban.
Will the idea of heroism that doesn’t involve pulling the trigger catch on? I have my doubts. I think it’s going to be difficult to get regular soldiers to buy into this concept–which goes against the heroic narrative so embedded in military culture–anytime in the near future. That doesn’t mean they won’t follow the instructions–ie, don’t kill civilians–but I don’t see it being embraced in the field.