First, I will acknowledge that shooting in a war zone is something that is incredibly difficult to do and the difference between life and death can be a matter of seconds.
However, I don’t feel that it means you can’t strive to aim for that perfect shot. In the case of this picture, it would have improved it drastically had the guy being searched looked in the direction of the camera or down at the soldier.
You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their eyes. You can tell how they are feeling, if they’ve had a good day, if they hate life, anything.
So why not try to get that shot?
I think it’d be worth it given that nothing indicates the photographer was caught in the middle of a shootout. I say go for it.
I really like the colors in the photo though, everything is crisp and clear, focus is dead on, but I think the top could be cropped down a little bit. Right now the crop ends right above the buildings, it should be moved to right above the guy’s head. The buildings aren’t important to the photo whereas the guy is. By making the crop it’ll emphasize him more and de-emphasize the background.