"Public & Soldiers - How they view each other & War"

Public & Soldiers - How they view each other & War

Highlights:

A soldier then and now - Human Rights in War - Trust the training - Need to recognize and value their contribution to the Nation - Not just the costs incurred but also the costs avoided - Military operations are a last resort, when failure is not an option, and hence must be viewed accordingly - The need for the AFSPA.

Quotations for consideration:

  • “God and the Soldier, all men adore in time of troubles, and no more; For when war is over and all things righted, God is neglected - the Old Soldier slighted.” - Anon.
  •  “All civilizations owe their origins to the warrior; their cultures nurture the warriors who defend them, and the differences between them will make those of one very different in externals from those of another.” - Sir John Keegan .
  • “It’s the Soldier, not the Reporter who has given us freedom of the Press. It’s the Soldier, not the Poet who has given us freedom of Speech. It’s the Soldier, not the Politicians that ensures our rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. It’s the Soldier, who salutes the Flag, who serves beneath the Flag, and whose coffin is draped by the Flag.” - Anon.
  • “There are some who have forgotten why we have a Military. It is not to promote war; it’s to be prepared for peace.” - Ronald Reagan.
  • “Hell hath no fury like a non - combatant.” - C. L. Montague .
  • “The dangerous patriot… drifts in to chauvinism and exhibits blind enthusiasm for military actions.” - Col. James A. Donovan.
  • “We must recognize the chief characteristic of the modern era - a permanent state of… violent peace.” - Admiral James D. Watkins.
  • “War must have the support of the Military, the Government, and the People” - Anon
  • “Jai Jawan! Jai Kisan!” - Lal Bahadur Shastri

Key concepts:

In the old days soldiers went in to battle with a clear idea of doing battle in a way that they wanted others to know of, their methods and their heroic deeds. Those were the days when the mothers of the soldiers ordered their sons going to war to either 'return with their Shield or on it'. Everyone in those times understood the Soldier because everyone then was required, quite literally, to be prepared to fight an enemy hand to hand in order to survive and protect his family and his assets. There was then little room for niceties in war. Even Cicero, the Roman , in 44 B.C said, ‘In battle laws fall silent'.

Today, living as we currently do, in a longer period of continuous peace than any in the whole of world history, people think of war differently. They no longer need to be ready to fight to survive and no longer see war as everyone's business. Today most people see war as 'outsourced' to their soldiers, to whom they are prepared to

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