What the soldiers in the current Iraqi war scandal appear to have done does seem a bit close to the line.
I have not read completely up on all the related stories.
Howvever, what seems to have transpired is that, in some cases, weapons were left lying around and if they were picked up by an Iraqi individual, they 'were engaged'. In other words, shot dead.
Ok, since there was no way to positively identify the 'possible' as an insurgent this is a tough call.
Last time I checked though, this was still a war.
If I was an Iraqi where possession of a weapon is a bit of a status and survival thing in country, I would be tempted to pick up such a weapon, and not necessarily with the intent of using it for or against the US or the Insurgents.
You are frankly probably a bit better of if you acquire a weapon in Iraq if you don't have one.
Since the individuals picking up the weapons were not mentioned as showing any telltales of intent I don't know how I would fall on this point.
If I was an Iraqi, I would now certainly hesitate to take or pick up weapons in an area where US sniper teams were known to be operating.
In past wars where baiting was used by US forces (excepting the Vietnam War) the enemy could be identified by his uniform.
Since the insurgents in this case are careful to mix in and not where any such uniform which could be identified, this is a precarious situation created by the Insurgents in part.
Assymetrical warfare should be considered as a two edged sword.
Is there a standing order for all Iraqis to turn over weapons to coalition forces? I don't know, surely there should be.
Anecdotally, my ex marine friend, although trained not to leave any weapons behind in Vietnam for the enemy at any camp or position, did develop a very nasty trick.
The fuse of the American grenade, typically, is'lit' when the pin is pulled and the "safety lever' allowed to release.
My friend simply said he would leave behind the odd grenade or to at his 'OP's' that had no fuse and which would immediately explode when the safety lever released.
So, every once in a while, he would observe a VC trying to pitch a grenade back at US forces would be instantly vaporized.
He said the occasional "BOOM" in the immediate vicinity (he could recognize the sound of a US grenade) did not concern him.
Now this was in the so called "Arizona" or I Corps area of operation where not to many Vietnamese friendly to the US generally searched abanoned fighting holes former op's, camps, postions or whatever, could reaonably be expected to be friendly.
Why is either method mentioned any different than leaving IED's or mines lying around?
When US forces left Vietnam thousands of minefields had been placed with literally millions of mines left behind. No maps where left behind to assist inclearing the fields.
The NVA and the VC were no less guilty in this respect.
Assymetrical Warfare has to be assumed to cut both ways.
Even in conventional warfare, after the Iran Iraq war, millions of mines were left in the border and fighting areas.
One writer said that these 'leave behinds "could be expected to be blowing up camels for decades". Unfortunately,other things get blown up as well.
I will add more as the thread demands.
"All Enlightenment Gratefully Accepted"