Rules of engagement

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Rules of engagement are directives issued by competent military authority that delineate the circumstances and limitations under which military forces will initiate and/or continue combat engagement with other forces encountered. Democratic countries like the United States rely on these rules, allowing local commanders to make decisions which in dictatorships must be referred to higher authority.

In the KAL 007 shootdown, it was not a failure of rules of engagement that led to the destruction of the civilian airliner; rather, it was a direct order from a land base to the Soviet fighter pilot.

See also