I'm not quoting everything because it takes too much time and page space. You are correct in saying hypothetical situations are speculation, but it is wholly relevant considering it is a war and leaving armed soldiers armed in war is frankly just stupid. They were perceived as armed. There's no speculation in that statement, it's just common sense. Since when is an IED not an ambush? An IED ambush is usually a handful of guys creating a trap from an old artillery shell and they'll take our half a dozen allied soldiers in an instant. When you don't look like a civilian in a war, then are you going to be treated like a civilian? Hanging out with people who look like soldiers... who are carrying weapons... which is basically the only distinguishing factor in Iraq... and is what consitutes a soldier... will get your ass shot. I choose to say "somewhat" justified because my ethcal standpoint doesn't allow me to fully justify killing by any means. War itself is considered justified killing, so there's no way for me to properly convey the societal view of wartime killing and still maintain my perspective that it is wrong without saying things along the lines of "somewhat". By the protocol of Rules of Engagement, the initial attack was justified - despite it not being so from my ethical standpoint. The second "van" attack - still not justified by my ethical standpoint - did not follow the protocol of the Rules of Engagement. edit: No Limit - Again, an IED is an ambush. I don't know what definition of "ambush" you're using, but when you lie in wait with the intention to atack then it's an ambush. Tyguy - I do agree that they could have taken more time and that was poor judgement, but in war hasty judgements sometimes have to be made. The lack of immediate danger meant they could have taken more time, but from the perspective of the pilot and gunner, that many people in the open with weapons is a prime target. In a war of ambushes (LIKE IEDS) where you won't see but a handful of people and they'll quickly meld back into the civilian populous without even a chance to fire at them, this appeared to be a great opportunity to take out a dozen enemies. So it doesn't really invalidate is as much as make it a murky proposition. They could have taken more time, but hindsight won't change anything.