To Fight Or Not To Fight?

That is the question.

What made me think of this again was the president’s orders for troops to go help with crowd control and of course there were his mindless threats of extreme us of our troops.

It seems that the spread of Covid-19 has made the leaders (some leaders) think of a cessation of hostilities during the pandemic…

Which nations are most vulnerable to a coronavirus outbreak? Nations without a robust health-care system can’t handle a major outbreak, and perhaps the easiest way to tell which nations those are going to be is to look at which nations are being torn apart by war.

That’s why five years into Yemen’s war they’re a major area of concern. That’s why 19 years into the US occupation, Afghanistan is seen as so vulnerable President Trump wants to leave before the outbreak gets there. Where war goes, coronavirus follows, and fighting the pandemic is wholly incompatible with fighting one another.

That’s why when the pandemic started, the UN Secretary General made the unusual move of calling for a global ceasefire, and slowly but surely, the call is gaining traction, with most of the world now on board. The US and Russia are the last outliers likely to stop the matter at the UN Security Council.

Even there, the idea of a global ceasefire has enough traction that the idea isn’t dead on arrival. With a vote expected soon, some experts say that a few exceptions may be all it takes to get Russia and the US to stop resisting the measure.

Russia wants to be free to strike in Syria if they feel the need to, and the Trump Administration wants to support the ceasefire, so long as it doesn’t hinder any of America’s many, many wars. Reconciling that is easier said than done.

Which isn’t to say the plan isn’t going forward. If anything, it is a testament to how important the ceasefire is that despite the substantial obstacles, there are still efforts to keep advancing the push.

(antiwar.com)

Brought that up to show that some leaders are trying to do the right thing and focus on the pandemic…..

But until it gets more leadership I have a thought about the military……

Think UNIONS!

Back in my years in the military there were a few of us that thought the military should be unionized……..

This is a DoD report in military unions…..https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/734746.pdf

Fascinating reading……

Like the report stated many disagreed and the biggest opposition was what if we had a war and no one wanted to fight…..which is the doctoral dissertation……

Justin Colby deserted the US military due to his belief that the war in Iraq was unjust. “The army did a lot of good things for me. It taught me responsibility. But I won’t bite my tongue anymore and continue doing something I think is wrong.”[1] Colby is deemed a deserter, having refused to return to the war in Iraq, a war he no longer believed to be just. His case represents one of 3,101 US soldiers who refused to fight in the US Coalition in Iraq between 2005 and 2006 alone.[2] Thus representing a growing phenomenon for active military personnel as they act on their moral agency by refusing to fight. The alternative course of action is to apply for conscientious objection status. However, applicants face a steep burden of proof demonstrating “firm, fixed and sincere objection to participation in the war in any form or the bearing of arms, by reason of religious training and belief.”[3] From 2003-2005, the US approval rate was just over fifty per cent.[4] A core dilemma for combatants is that there is no option for selective conscientious objection; a refusal to fight on the grounds of “political, philosophical or sociological beliefs,”[5] permitting the unwillingness to fight on moral grounds. Due to restricted legal avenues and lack of rights associated with military refusal, combatants are left with no other choice but to desert.

By focusing on the notion of combatants’ right to refuse wars which they deem unjust, this essay will challenge the ethics of just war scholarship using a revisionist framework, effectively determining the extent to which soldiers have the right to be held morally accountable for their participation in an unjust war and, further, have the right to refuse. The first section will explore the justifications of orthodox just war theory and the reasons why combatants under just war theory are denied the right to the moral agency to determine the justness of war. The second section will examine the revisionist justification for the reconciliation of just war principles, reinstating moral agency in combatants. The third section will use the case study of the Second Gulf War, led by the US coalition, to assess, first, whether this war satisfied the just war doctrine and, second, whether soldiers had an obligation as moral agents to evaluate its failures and refuse to fight. The final section will explore the hierarchy of moral responsibility, concluding that if moral responsibility is not accounted for in the higher tiers of a military command, soldiers have a moral obligation to apply their moral agency in warfare.

Can Soldiers Refuse to Fight? The Limitations of Just War Theory

As a student of conflict I find this an interesting topic……

Now the pandemic has taken over the news cycle daily…..gone are the reports on the military and as the world suffers the Un has a message and some countries are signing on…..

With the world in the throes of the calamitous COVID-19 pandemic, UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres is pushing for a global ceasefire, seeing a planet-wide halt to war as a chance to allow an all-out effort to fight the virus.

This is getting some interest beyond NGOs and the Pope. As of Friday, 11 countries have endorsed the idea, including Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, Libya, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen.

While the UN is still looking for a big nation engaged in foreign wars to really make this a thing, but some of these nations have some substantial domestic conflicts that might benefit from a ceasefire, and countries like Syria may find themselves influencing others.

These are also some of the countries most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemics, with countries like Yemen, Libya, and Syria some of the nations least prepared for an outbreak, with war leaving the countries with little medical infrastructure.

(antiwar.com)

Only a small group of nations have signed on and as we should expect none of the “Big Guys” are willing to give up on war even in these trying times.

What say you about this situation?

Sorry that post was a rambling mess….oh god is trumpitis wearing off on me?  (I need a shower!)

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10 thoughts on “To Fight Or Not To Fight?

  1. Wars cannot be fought on the basis of a soldier’s willingness or unwillingness. If the war is a a matter of national security and the soldier refuses to fight he is either assigned to a non-combatant status (Hospital Corps, Chaplaiin Service, Etc.,) or he is (a) dishonorably discharged, (b) sent to Leavenworth or tried by courts martial and imprisoned or executed. This has been the workable plan since the founding and it should be the workable plan going forward. If refusal to fight is in the heat of battle then summary execution on the spot.

      1. People who ignore unlawful orders can be shot… and probably have been more times that we will ever know.

  2. I have never been in the military, but at least as far as Britain is concerned, I don’t think there will ever be Unions in the armed forces. Everything that happens is based on a very rigid rank structure, with those at the bottom just following direct instructions with little knowledge of why. But one thought I used to have is that platoon top sergeants (sergeant-majors here) are not unlike shop stewards/local organisers, in that they ‘mediate’ between often inexperienced officers (management) and the platoon. (workers)
    Best wishes, pete.

    1. I agree…these days no union would be possible…..I still think it would work but with some tweaking from today’s military. chuq

  3. No. The Soviet’s tried something similar after 1917, and was the expected abysmal failure. The Armed Forces cannot, by its very nature, be run in accordance with popular vote. Not to mention that any military union would be just as corrupt as we see civilian unions in many cases.

    1. The Soviet experiment was a bust……and I agree with the corruption thing…..but I do think it could work just not in this atmosphere…..chuq

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