2018 November 11
Bruce discussed four main ideas with interconnected implications in his presentation. The first is the unique pledge veterans made upon enlistment to agree, in effect, to be legitimate targets in combat. It is morally and legally acceptable for soldiers of countries at war to kill each other. No other occupation requires its volunteers to place themselves in that seemingly contradictory position. Second, soldiers who merit the status of unit membership and serve together practice the unconditional acceptance of each other, even if they are very different and may not even like each other. That unconditional acceptance is the basis for the power of their camaraderie. Third, military service provides all of society with an example of the price of forgiveness, as former adversaries often traditionally learn to regard each other with grudging respect and the recognition of shared experience. Fourth, the laws of war serve as a special subset of the overall concept of the rule of law.
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