Pin Headsí ever changing "Rules of Engagement:"
US Aircrews could not fire on
Migs unless or until they were fired on first. They were required
to first identify the enemy before engaging them; which meant getting too
close to use air to air missiles, which left guns, something F-4s weren't
allowed to have early in the war.
When Airmen saw SAM sites under
construction, they weren't allowed to go after them until they was operational
and showing hostile intent.
Aircrews could not blow up rice pattie
levies; rice patties were off limits. So--of course--the Communist put
their AAAs in rice patties--where else!
Certain Bridges and Dams were Off
Limits; anyplace Russian or Chinese "advisors" might be located, was Off
Our forces were not allowed "Hot
Pursuit" of the enemy into Laos or Cambodia; or even into North Vietnam.