Morals and the Military


15-Year Member
Jun 9, 2006
I was visiting another forum and came across a person saying that they did not want to design anything that could kill people, but later inquired about the Service Academies. This struck me as rather ironic. So, I'd like to hear some people's views on their ethics in relation to the military.

For myself, I do believe that killing is wrong. However, if it is determined that a person is a threat to my country, countrymen, or those I am supposed to protect, I have no objections to taking that person out. That is how I reconcile my views with military service. How do you see it?
I'm afraid I have a rather cold interpretation about all this. I am all for the preservation of INNOCENT human life. However, once the "innocent" part of it drops off, then all bets are off.

I like precision munitions not because they minimize collateral damage, but rather because they highten the odds of a kill with a single mission rather than multiple ones, thus reducing risk to our pilots. It also saves bombs for other targets.

The person who you read that opposes designing anything for the military is a closed-minded fool who doesn't understand that war is a terrible thing but OFTEN NECESSARY, and that it is the people he seems to revile that keep his lilly-white ass free to talk the crap he's talking. If he then asked about the Service Academies for himself, then he is also a hypocrite.

People of a certain political stripe seem to think that those of us who do or who did wear the uniform are a bunch of robots who long for war. In some cases that may be true in the same way that firefighters look forward to fires: it's what they have trained to do and as professionals, they derive a certain bit of enjoyment from practicing their trade. In their case the fire is the enemy. In ours the enemy is vermin like terrorists or the forces of enemy nations.

The best thing to do to people like this idiot you posted about is to point out their ignorance to them and then ignore them. They deserve nothing more. My only regret is that they never seem to be the ones who suffer the consequences of their ignorance. It's always those willing to stand up and face the arrows who pay the bill.

Oh, take a look at my sig line. John Stewart Mill was far smarter than I was, and far better with the language.
Yeah, I like Mill's quote. It is one of the best ones that we memorize at USAFA.
I feel that the majority of future conflict will, to the dismay of the AF, be ground support. Ground troops are assigned a mission and the successful accomplishment of that mission becomes paramount. Any encountered hostilities quickly becomes kill or be killed. Hopefully, training, intelligence, superior firepower, and situational awareness make the first of the two options the greater odds. It is mission accomplishment, survival, and hopefully, regroup, and regain mission accomplishment. Kind of esoteric, but in the heat of it all, morals of killing is not really a factor.

For the airdales, like zap said, precision weaponry, airborne FACs, etc. make close air support very viable in modern warfare. A frantic call from a pinned down ground unit resulting in a very quick very precision JDAM eliminating the threat is not seen as a moral issue but as a platoon of friendlies who definitely will be around another day.

I don't think most lose sleep about it beforehand. When it is happening most are too caught up in it to worry about it (read "scared ****less"). When it is over, the rationalization is that friendly lives, including ones on, were saved so, again, it is not a big deal.