"It’s complete negligence," says Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a retired psychology instructor at
West Pointwho trains law-enforcement officers and special-operations soldiers.
"The military could train soldiers to talk about killing as easily as they train them to pull the trigger. But commanders are in denial. Nobody wants to accept the blame for a soldier who comes home a wreck for doing what his country asked him to do," he says.
The emotional and psychological ramifications of killing are mostly unstudied by the military, defense officials acknowledge.
"The idea and experience of killing another person is not addressed in military training," says Col. Thomas Burke, director of mental-health policy for the Defense Department. "Training's intent is to re-create battle, to make it an automatic behavior among soldiers."
The more soldiers ignore their emotions and behave like trained machines rather than thinking people, the more you invite PTSD," says Dr. David Spiegel of the
of Medicine. Stanford University School
As stated by John Stuart Mill,
“But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration.
A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.”