Having served in the military but, thank god, was never in combat, was an experience that brings to mind this truly excellent article by a guy who also served, explaining in no uncertain terms, why President Bone Spurs knows nothing about how the military works when everything's on the line and why discipline and a code of ethics is key to reducing atrocities in war that certain people commit in situations this writer never wants to see.
Let me tell you why it’s so dangerous for Donald Trump to pardon or otherwise excuse war criminals. Because it makes the enforcement of lesser laws and regulations in the military much more difficult.
The problem faced by military commanders has always been the same: to harness the aggression and killing skills of soldiers while maintaining what they call “good order and discipline.” It’s not easy. The primary way this is accomplished is with training. Training hones soldiers’ skills while instilling in them an instinct to follow orders and maintain discipline. It also builds esprit de corps and what they call “unit cohesion.”
In closing ...
If these guys are allowed to get away with murder, why should soldiers obey lesser laws? The UCMJ, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, is used to prosecute crimes within the military. But it’s also used to enforce discipline and keep order within units. So-called “Article 15” non-judicial punishments are handed out by commanders for minor infractions of the rules, like being caught speeding or sleeping on guard or failure to keep a barracks room neat and orderly. What’s the motive to obey the little rules and regulations which help to keep order and create effective units if the big rules and laws are not only being ignored, but crimes of murder and mayhem in war are being celebrated by the president of the United States?
Lucian K. Truscott IV | graduate of West Point
Spot on commentary without question.