Legitimacy and Commitment in the Military

Legitimacy and Commitment in the Military

Legitimacy and Commitment in the Military

Legitimacy and Commitment in the Military

Synopsis

Eleven essays written from the perspectives of psychology, sociology, history, philosophy, anthropology, and military studies by an international group of leading behavioral scientists explore the issues of legitimacy and commitment in the military, critically analyzing current "fault lines" and future trends in this area. Post-World War II wars are defined as "different" and are characterized by moral and political debate, demonstrations, conscientious objection, and more. Specific wars, such as in Vietnam and Algeria, military organizations, including the Soviet, Israeli, and U.S. Armies, and the individual soldier are scrutinized.

Excerpt

The post-World War II wars are different wars. The military struggles in Algeria, Vietnam, Pakistan, Lebanon, the Falklands, and Grenada, to mention a few, were drastically different from the two world wars that occurred in the same century. Certainly the military confrontations that have taken place in Northern Ireland and in the īntifada (the Palestinian uprising in the Israeli occupied territories) do not reflect traditional wars. These recent wars are characterized by issues of national consensus, home support, political debates, and moral argumentations and counterargumentations. When wars are evaluated by the number of demonstrations and the extent of alienation they provoke-- when, instead of worrying about the number of casualties on the battlefield, governments start dealing with the number of draft-dodgers or conscientious objectors--these wars become different wars. In such wars, issues of legitimacy and commitment become the most essential components, not less, perhaps even more, than such issues as weapon systems, training, or tactics.

The military organizations of the last few decades are also different. These are armies that are prepared not only for war, but for peace, or peacekeeping missions. These armies may be occupied more in police, or constabulary, tasks than in combat . . .

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