A story from me 65 replies

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Roaming East

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7th November 2005

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#21 11 years ago

You're right. Killing the children would NOT have guaranteed mission success, but letting them go guaranteed failure. As a soldier, you have 2 duties. Success of the Mission- If by your faulty actions you can not succeed at your mission, you endanger the lives of those under your command, those that will have to come AFTER you to finish the mission, and those that will be arbitrarily effected by the delay in mission success (i.e. not neutralizing a bomb facility allows for it to manufacture weapons that will kill friendlies later down the road)

The second responsibility is to your people- At no point does a leader risk his mens lives unnecessarily or without due cause. People die, thats a fact, but placing your men in a situation in which they will die in vain is inexcusable.

A military is NOT a democracy, input from your peers and subordinates is useful but the ultimate decision should always lie with the man with rank. A Lt does NOT defer decision making to a Cpl. If he does he is an ineffectual leader and a danger to his men. The SEAL tema leader KNEW what the risk were to his mission. Compromise equals death, hard action leads to success. The knowns and unknowns were this: His team failing would equal the death of his men, and those sent after them. this isnt an assumption this is a hard fact. success of the mission WILL have led to an momentary improvement in the tactical and strategic situation. No organization can swifty replace leaders. Later down the road a worse guy MAY have taken over, but until then, the Opfor is disorganized and the attacks they were planning in the interim are halted or disrupted.

Ultimately, killing supply and leadership far outweighs the negatives of pissing off the relatives of a family already in enemy territory. It can generally be assumed that if said leadership is in a civilian area, those civilians are sympathetic to his cause and thus possible/probable combatants anyway. None of this is win win, but at the end of the day if the only thing you accomplished is the destruction of your OWN forces, then you made a bad decision. The battles arent about unmitigated victory, its about losing less then your enemy. If he loses more then you, then he cannot suceed. Same reason why The Shitte and Sunni militias in Iraq are engaging AQ now instead of Coalition forces.

Hell, the US doesnt play tit for tat. If option A fails, Option B tends to be airstrikes. So in this case, Seal team gets obliterated, 2 boys walk free, Warlord still breathes, so the next day an AC130U comes in and wipes out the village. Warlord dies, 2 boys die, and so does half a villages population. Thats why grunts on the ground arent supposed to make morality calls like this. The end result will always be out of your control and quite possibly worse then if you had just did your damn mission to begin with.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

The Bad

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7th December 2003

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#22 11 years ago
Roaming East;4209141You're right. Killing the children would NOT have guaranteed mission success, but letting them go guaranteed failure.

Easy to say in retrospect, but in that situation it was apparently not so clear that those boys would cause the mission to fail, otherwise the commander of a special forces unit probably would have aborted it.

A military is NOT a democracy, input from your peers and subordinates is useful but the ultimate decision should always lie with the man with rank. A Lt does NOT defer decision making to a Cpl. If he does he is an ineffectual leader and a danger to his men. The SEAL tema leader KNEW what the risk were to his mission. Compromise equals death, hard action leads to success. The knowns and unknowns were this: His team failing would equal the death of his men, and those sent after them. this isnt an assumption this is a hard fact. success of the mission WILL have led to an momentary improvement in the tactical and strategic situation. No organization can swifty replace leaders. Later down the road a worse guy MAY have taken over, but until then, the Opfor is disorganized and the attacks they were planning in the interim are halted or disrupted.

To me it seems more logical the other way around. Killing a leader wouldn't have much of an effect at a short term because of the decentralized structure terrorists use (for a short-term effect you'd have to take out the equivalent of low officer ranks or NCO-ranks or however you call the people that coordinate attacks), but it might affect the long-term strategy since with the leader contacts to those who fund terrorism and communication between different groups will be lost (for a while at least).

Ultimately, killing supply and leadership far outweighs the negatives of pissing off the relatives of a family already in enemy territory. It can generally be assumed that if said leadership is in a civilian area, those civilians are sympathetic to his cause and thus possible/probable combatants anyway. None of this is win win, but at the end of the day if the only thing you accomplished is the destruction of your OWN forces, then you made a bad decision. The battles arent about unmitigated victory, its about losing less then your enemy. If he loses more then you, then he cannot suceed. Same reason why The Shitte and Sunni militias in Iraq are engaging AQ now instead of Coalition forces.

Sounds reasonable in principle, but as killing leadership and supply in this sort of war usually involves civilian casualties the negative effects can outweight the positive effects.

I don't think it can be assumed that civilians automatically support terrorists if they are in the same area (doesn't the military usually say that terrorists use civilians as shields?), that's again one of those simplifications that serve as justification for using a simple solution (bombing the crap out of them) to a complex problem. I understand why the priorities of a soldier make such simple solutions desirable, but that doesn't make it right. It's still wrong to kill innocents and it will still be contraproductive in this sort of operation. I think the Pentagon released a study a while ago that showed how indiscriminate use of violence by US troops ended up being the best recruitment-tool available to terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Hell, the US doesnt play tit for tat. If option A fails, Option B tends to be airstrikes. So in this case, Seal team gets obliterated, 2 boys walk free, Warlord still breathes, so the next day an AC130U comes in and wipes out the village. Warlord dies, 2 boys die, and so does half a villages population. Thats why grunts on the ground arent supposed to make morality calls like this. The end result will always be out of your control and quite possibly worse then if you had just did your damn mission to begin with.

Since wiping out a village doesn't really help much in gaining support from the population I doubt that this is what actually happened. Remember when a wedding was bombed in Afghanistan? It's events like that which lead to Germany having some reservations about sending combat-troops to Afghanistan right now. Eventually you risk the success of the whole operation and that means that all the deaths, of your own soldiers of civilians and of enemies, might have been in vain.




Time2KILL

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28th June 2006

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#23 11 years ago

The captain will kill himself from guilt eventually. Damn those little bastards.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#24 11 years ago
Karst;4208943Why bother waging war against a violent regime in the first place then if you don't care about such things? At the point when someone would even consider such an atrocity the war has lost its meaning.

In a sense you're right, there is no good and evil, there's only evil and greater evil and we're compelled to pick the lesser of the two. If we leave it will be open warfare, civil war on a scale that few people who haven't seen some measure of violence can even imagine, and if we stay we're going to have to kill people including civilians to keep some measure of peace.

Two people or thirty plus however many lives those thirty could have saved by their actions were they still alive, plus however many lives the warlord will take in the extra time he has, plus however many lives are taken in whatever other way the warlord is taken out.

Taking the boys out would have been the lesser evil, staying in the country is the lesser evil.




Roaming East

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#25 11 years ago
MrFancypants;4209337 Since wiping out a village doesn't really help much in gaining support from the population I doubt that this is what actually happened. Remember when a wedding was bombed in Afghanistan? It's events like that which lead to Germany having some reservations about sending combat-troops to Afghanistan right now. Eventually you risk the success of the whole operation and that means that all the deaths, of your own soldiers of civilians and of enemies, might have been in vain.

Village outside of Kewa, Eastern Afghanistan was demolished during such an AC130 strike. small beans in the grand scheme of things but to the 5 or so families that used to live there... Cant really argue against anything you said and it pains me a bit that life isnt fair but when given a choice between murder lite and murder writ large, you pick the former instead of doing nothing and letting the latter happen by course.




crisissuit3

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17th August 2007

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#26 11 years ago

wow i was amazed. decisions, im currently in a position where we either move or stay in my area. and its not easy. they probably should have captured the boys and held them somewhere until the mission was over or somthing.




Darth Taxi

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#27 11 years ago

Shouldn't have got caught first... After all this is simple decision: Primary objective is to kill an overlord Secondary is do not harm innocent civilians However, the boys were on their way back to village anyway and killing them might have brought suspicion which could let into ambush and interogation of soldiers. Whichever was correct they are special ops and did mistake during mission which ended in failure. Advice: Should have killed the boys, arranged it as an accident and retreated for a while.




Karst

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#28 11 years ago

Nemmerle;4210263In a sense you're right, there is no good and evil, there's only evil and greater evil and we're compelled to pick the lesser of the two. If we leave it will be open warfare, civil war on a scale that few people who haven't seen some measure of violence can even imagine, and if we stay we're going to have to kill people including civilians to keep some measure of peace.

Two people or thirty plus however many lives those thirty could have saved by their actions were they still alive, plus however many lives the warlord will take in the extra time he has, plus however many lives are taken in whatever other way the warlord is taken out.

Taking the boys out would have been the lesser evil, staying in the country is the lesser evil.

I'm not so sure about that. Taking out an insurgent commander is not the same as taking out a general in an actual army, they're usually not in their position because of long military experience. It seems more likely that a mission which leaves 2 boys dead would have the negative effect of creating hatred towards foreign soldiers; even if the mission would have been successful otherwise, the death of the two boys would have likely meant the entire village would have been ready to fight the "child murderers", and even if the warlord had been killed, a leader is not hard to find when people are filled with hate.

I hardly think it can be said that said scenario would be the lesser evil. If anything, it's impossible to say.




Nederbörd

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13th March 2005

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#29 11 years ago
Roaming East;4210671Village outside of Kewa, Eastern Afghanistan was demolished during such an AC130 strike. small beans in the grand scheme of things but to the 5 or so families that used to live there... Cant really argue against anything you said and it pains me a bit that life isnt fair but when given a choice between murder lite and murder writ large, you pick the former instead of doing nothing and letting the latter happen by course.

The moral impact of such actions need also be taken into mind. Targeting civilians has a great negative moral impact and could help to turn the locals against the Coalitions or further the gains of the opposing factions, who could use it as propaganda material. Although I agree with you that the lesser evil of the two is the one to go if those are the only two choices, I think they did have at least a few more. Tieing them up and knocking them out would have been the best in my opinion.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#30 11 years ago

Karst;4210721I'm not so sure about that. Taking out an insurgent commander is not the same as taking out a general in an actual army, they're usually not in their position because of long military experience. It seems more likely that a mission which leaves 2 boys dead would have the negative effect of creating hatred towards foreign soldiers; even if the mission would have been successful otherwise, the death of the two boys would have likely meant the entire village would have been ready to fight the "child murderers", and even if the warlord had been killed, a leader is not hard to find when people are filled with hate.

I hardly think it can be said that said scenario would be the lesser evil. If anything, it's impossible to say.

You're in a warzone, two boys walk out into a field and don't come back no-one's going to know who offed them. Heck if the insurgents have any brains they've already skinned a few children alive and left them out to dry in a public place to blame on the coalition anyway.

Quite honestly I doubt it would cause a great deal of public outrage that wasn't already there.