17 January 2009
British commanders have now ordered their medical personnel to carry, and be ready to use, their weapons when going after casualties in combat zones. Since September 11, 2001, U.S. combat medics have been operating under the same rules. But even in Vietnam, it was noted that the communist troops tended to ignore the "rules of war" that were supposed to give medical personnel some immunity from enemy fire. Both the communist and Islamic fighters believed all the enemy troops were fair game, and that medical personnel were preferred targets, because of the negative effect it has on enemy morale when their medics or doctors get killed.