Do we have to believe in what we are fighting for?

Is the political and moral reason behind an operation important to you?

  • Yes. I would resign before going on an operation I didn't believe in.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • If a democratically elected government decides to go to war that is sufficient for me.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The politics of it is irrelevant- I go on ops because I am a professional soldier.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Bring it on! The more ops the better - don't care who we fight!

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
I was speaking to a German officer recently. In their leadership philosophy it is a command function to explain to soldiers why they are going on a particular operation; why it is morally and politically the right thing to do.

Their view is that a soldier who is convinced that his cause is just is better motivated than a soldier who goes where's he told without thinking too much about it. A common (probably not majority) view is that such a soldier is no better than a mercenary.

So the question is to all those ARRSERs who have been to Iraq/AFG or are going to go (ie everyone!): given the political background to these operations how important is it to be given

a. a sound political and moral reason for going?
b. to believe it?

I was on TELIC 1 and apart from a rallying CO's eve of battle speech there was never any direct explanation of the whys and wherefores that I remember. I also don't ever remember discussing it with anyone.
Do as your told and leave the moralising to the politicians. So long as you're not asked to do anything against the Geneva convention - stag on.
The precedent set by the Nuremberg tribunals that there is no defence of obedience to unlawful orders which has been internalised in the Bundeswhere is to be expressly disregarded by Parliament with a change in the law in which a refusal to deploy on operations on the grounds of illegality will attract a sentence of life imprisonment!

That the executive feel it necessary to introduce such a statutory provision is, of itself tantamount to an admission of guilt!

Regards and best wishes
At the risk of sounding pompous:

You go where you're told, and do your duty.

And you can also save your dosh for a really good pissup on POTL.
I'll disagree and argue with any of our deployments (both in person and on the net), then when the time comes I'll get on the Herc and go to the place I don't think we should be and do the job.

We're professional soldiers, we leave politics and excuses to the overpaid c*nts in Westminster.
While I may believe that the political decision to send troops to a particular engagement may be illegal, I don't believe that the orders passed down to me as an individual are. If I felt strongly about a particular deployment, I would make my feelings known through the chain of command, but I would still go and perform my duties to the best of my ability.

At an individual level, your responsibility is to those around you. You cannot second guess the people further up the chain, who ought to have better info on which to make their decision.

In my view, the decisions of the Nuremberg trials were flawed - and that will be my defence up to the point where they hang me.
It would be foolish not to think about the whys and wherefores of ops - we are, after all issued with a brain. Nonetheless, we are all contracted and obligated to serve where we are told to serve and to get on with the job in hand.

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