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Essay Paper on Responsibility

Individual Responsibility for the Military

This part of the paper is intended to contemplate the question of individual responsibility in the context of war crimes and military forces which commit these crimes. This is the discourse about what is right and wrong, about morals and accountability for the things people perpetrate sometimes.

The history of army bespeaks in the early days the armies were intended to fight the wars for their king and thus it did not matter who these troops consisted of – they generally were foreign soldiers of fortune, slaves and criminals. But this was before our times. Nowadays though, military forces are predestinated to represent the society which employs (or recruits) them. And it is implied here that the members of these military forces are adequate people who are not prone to committing some kinds of crimes and to be violent and can simply perform their duties.

It is clear that people are not generally violent. Chuter considers that “it requires hysteria, hatred or intoxication to produce high levels of violence”. But as for the military forces, people who enter them are necessarily expected to be tolerant to violence. Psychologically adequate people at war are supposed not only to control their emotions but also to be able to think, operate and perform their duties in critical circumstances. If the soldiers perform some kinds of violence acts they are to be controlled as well as these soldiers’ emotional states. This controlled violence also implicates taking casualties, be able to control their actions and not shoot in some situations while still being attacked, and at times to co-operate in the military sense with the groups they previously were to destroy.

When the behaviors and general attitudes of the military men are considered, it is expected that they will not greatly differ from those of the society by and large. But, in some societies military forces perform such acts of violence other members of the
societies do not approve of and even are against of. (The examples can be Yugoslavia and Central Africa contemplated hereafter.) Thus the military forces which performed the acts of violence and killing were interested in these acts while the entire society judged them.

Consequently, it is suggested that it would be more ethical if the military forces held the values which the society was supposed to hold – not the actual values as they can be to some degree out of keeping with the general moral behaviors and practices.

Thus, in order to be adequate and to commit moral deeds the young soldiers are supposed to be taught. But they need not be taught the actual behaviors whether they are moral or not. They are to be taught the values and these values will in the future – in critical situations – set their actions…

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