Monday, February 11, 2008

Soldier court-martialed

BAGHDAD – US Army Sgt. Evan Vela was sentenced by a court-martial jury to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting in Iraq. The shooting occurred on May 11, 2007.

If you recall, the war in Iraq had spiked sharply upward in Iraq during the spring of 2007. Atrocities occur in ALL wars, on both sides. A direct correlation exists between the amount of training a unit and/or soldiers receive and the number of atrocities committed by that unit/soldier. The greater the amount of training, the fewer atrocities committed. Training does not eliminate atrocities. Training reduces the occurrence of them. This is why atrocities are committed by irregular troops far more frequently.

Atrocities tend to be committed more frequently when the units/soldiers are under the greatest pressure. Greater amounts of combat will result in a larger number of atrocities. The longer the period of intense combat lasts, the greater the chances of atrocities. After all, everyone has a limit. Stress and fatigue impact decision making in a negative way. The greater amount of stress and fatigue, the more likely mistakes in judgement will be made. Toss in the fact that war tends to bring out the best and worst in people. Stress and fatigue will exaggerate any flaws that everyone has, and these are many times impossible to see beforehand.

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