NBC news has released a report stating that Coalition forces passed on an opportunity to kill over 100 "high level" Taliban in July, when a Predator drone discovered a large group attending a funeral in Southern Afghanistan. US Army officers were initially "so excited; at the prospect of having so many high value targets in one spot, but excitement quickly gave way to frustration. Senior Defense Department officials aborted the attack, citing that a strike on a religious cemetery was against the rules of engagement (ROE). “Coalition Forces do not discuss rules of engagement" and "hold themselves to a higher moral and ethical standard than their enemies,” the military said in a statement. A U.S. Army Intelligence officer vented his frustration over the decision stating that the missed opportunity to neutralize so many of the Taliban leadership “potentially could cause harm to our soldiers, civilians, the population and the government of Afghanistan.” The internal DoD conflict over these rules highlights the difficulty in striking the proper "ethical" balance in war.
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