AWOL in America

What is life like for new recruits in the climate of the Iraq War? This article gives a good portrait of those who jump ship and why they do it.

Particularly facinating to me, is the statistics on firing rates. Apparently in World War II only 15 to 20 percent of the combat infantry were willing to fire their weapons this number has steadily increased over the years.

By the Korean War, the firing rate had gone up to 55 percent; in the Vietnam war, it was around 90 to 95 percent. How did the military achieve this? As Grossman writes, “Since World War II, a new era has quietly dawned in modern warfare: an era of psychological warfare — psychological warfare conducted not upon the enemy, but upon one’s own troops. … The triad of methods used to achieve this remarkable increase in killing are desensitization, conditioning, and denial defense mechanisms.”

I have never been put in a situation like the ones a new soldier has to face, but I would hope that if I did have to go to war, it would be a war I could believe in.

One reply on “AWOL in America”

If were to go to war, I would want to it to be a war I believed in too. Where- as I think it was a pretty nice gesture to oust Saddam Husein, hindsight is now showing that they should get their rear-ends out of there.

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