Obama: Soldiers in Afghanistan Must Be Fired Upon to Receive Combat Pay As of February 1st 2012, President Obama has determined that Combat Pay for US forces will be determined by a new criteria. In general, Afghanistan has been deemed a combat zone and all US forces deployed in that region have been eligible for combat pay due to the certainty of encountering dirt-bags in firefights, ambushes, IEDs or suicide bombings. This new policy now requires having been shot at first. For those not understanding the problem with this, it now says that the US Government has effectively declared Afghanistan a safe zone! And this in spite of the nearly daily reports of Americans being either wounded or killed!