Chief: Morals Training For Young Troops


Taken from MODOracle Website today:

Chief: Morals Training For Young Troops

Friday, February 16, 2007

Educating ground-level troops about their moral responsibilities is now a "key challenge" for the military leadership, according to the head of the British army.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, chief of the general staff, said the actions of troops involved in decision-making at the ground level, such as "strategic" corporals or pilots, can have "profound" consequences. He said the effects may be as easily visible to the international media as those of a general or politician.

Sir Richard said the challenge for the military leadership was to educate and train young people - each a potential decision maker - to understand the thinking behind the military's core values of "selfless commitment, courage, discipline, integrity, loyalty and respect for others" and apply these values to their conduct.
Any lapses in behaviour must be confronted, he warned, with thorough investigations, "well informed" decisions about whether to prosecute and "timely disposal" of such cases through the judicial system.

"When a political decision is reached to send a military force on a discretionary intervention there is a conscious or subconscious acceptance that in deploying to a less fortunate part of the world, we do so having publicly adopted a position on the moral high ground," Sir Richard said in a new book.

"However, when officers or soldiers act in a way contrary to our traditional values and standards and fail to respect the human rights of those they have gone to help, then we risk falling from the high ground to the valley, often in a very public way."

His remarks are made in the foreword to The Price of Peace - Just War in the 21st Century, a collection of essays on the tradition of "just war", launched today in central London.

In the foreword, Sir Richard, who has spoken publicly in the past of his deep Christian faith, says there has been a "marked increase" in military interventions mainly under the banner of institutions such as the United Nations, the European Union and Nato or within "coalitions of the willing".

"The swords have not become ploughshares but in an innovative way more akin to pruning hooks - they are being used to try to contribute to prosperity and stability and not merely to threaten or destroy," he said.

Sir Richard gained a reputation for outspokenness shortly after he took over as chief of the general staff in August last year.

In October, he was forced to deny a rift with the government despite calling in a Daily Mail interview for British troops to be pulled out of Iraq "sometime soon". He said their presence was exacerbating security problems in Iraq and Britain's difficulties around the world.


Im afraid I think that its the politicians that need educating on 'moral responsibility' !!

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