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casualties in war





Hunterseaker
Hi guys,

I want to start a discussion about casualties in a war, here is the reason why:
We(The Netherlands) have troops in Afghanistan, troops who are execute combat missions, tho mostly help to build up the country again. they help to build hospitals, roads, schools etc just everything that is destroyed in the war.

9 dutch people are killed so far in Afghanistan, a few in combat missions.
Already after the 1st casualties, politician were starting to ask questions about if we had to continue the mission and that the mission is way to dangerous etc.
Are those politicians right in their behavior, about the quick questions already after the 1st death?

It is a very sad thing those people died, and yes I also think it are nine death people to many...
Tho do we have to stop the mission or not extend the mission because there are casualties?
It is very sad that people get killed, tho we also save life's of the Afghan people and we work for a better future for the Afghan people.

And here is an other important point of the discussion:
Those soldiers known the risk that the might get wounded or had to fight in a combat mission.
It might be very hard to say, tho can you say it is just a "Occupational hazard
"?
People who sign up for the army know that they might get involved in combat missions and might get wounded or killed....
So can you use that information in your consideration about not to continue or extend missions, or in a max casualties number?



Here is my opinion about the whole story:
I do think we have to continue AND extend the mission because we help to make a safer world, and also the combat missions are needed to make it safer. and yes people might get killed in those missions, tho it is a risk the soldiers know they run.... And why holding an army when you don't dare to use it?

Tho let one thing be very clear: I also think It is very sad that those people died, and I regret those deaths. they sadly paid the highest price when serving their country
coolclay
Very good points, I look at the military as I do with any other "dangerous" job. You know or should know that it can be dangerous when you sign up. The military however is much more rewarding then any other "dangerous" job, because you are actually helping your country or another country, instead of just having a regular job.
Aless
I think enlisted servicemen/women know exactly what they are getting into when they sign up. It's not like it's going to be any surprise to anyone. Not to sound callous, because I disagree with a lot going on in the military, but you do have to realise that it IS a voluntary force in a lot of countries.
mathiaus
This is completely political. There are two different sides (Broadly speaking, these can both be split up of course!).
One side, wishes to use their armed forces as a global force. This force will be sent to other countries without much debate (not literally), as a peacekeeping force, to attack 'bad' countries, liberate others, generally do anything that a normal group of people couldn't do.
The other side either don't an army, only want a temporary army or if they a permanent army, for it to be used only for defence. Defence isn't even the proper word, 'retaliation' is. To destroy an army before they can attack you would put you in the first group. To defend yourself, once you have been attacked, fighting others out of your own country, puts you here.

Ideally, everyone wants the first group. The advantages are being recognised as a nation that cares about others, one that acts, less 'bad' people around, more friends/allies etc. There are however many disadvantages, the two main ones being cost of lives, the second; cost of money. These disadvantages are not found by those in group 2.

Lives - Everyone knows their life is in danger all the time. Something natural, electricity, a car, murderer etc. Certain jobs just make it more likely to happen, the military is one of those.
Basically in the eyes of the public who vote for politician's, people of their race, culture etc are more important. For example I'm British. I would rather a British person be saved than someone from the middle east (Please don't judge me just yet). Obviously in war though, it's not a case of trading one soldier for one civilian. Generally, MANY people will be saved, in which case it becomes more acceptable for the loss of 'one of our own'. So the politician saying 'lets pull them out' is either looking after his country and the world, or himself. If the troops are doing a good job and the losses are small, he's bothered about his public image. Some people will like someone that tries to prevent the deaths of their own people.

Money - People pay tax. They expect this money to spent on them. Roads that they use, defence for them, utilities for them etc. It iritates some people that their money pays for the defence of people in another country they've never heard of, or simply don't care about. Again some politicians will make use of this trying to get the poor earner's vote. The tides can always turn though. A civil war (possible anywhere, even the USA!) can ruin a country, which would then depend on others.


In answer to the original question, it depends on what is more important. Keeping yourself popular, soldiers safe and letting other countries fall into ruin, or becoming less popular, intervening and doing some global good. My personal opinion is to achieve something something good other than popularity.
Hunterseaker
mathiaus wrote:
whole story.... to much to quote

Thats an impressive reply, I mostly agree....
Tho it is not all about popularity or tax, I really don't care my tax money is used to be used in other countries or is used to buy weapons etc. It is more a fact of principles I think, our social party's are against any use of the military, they only want a very small army for defensive use(we are selling almost all our fighting planes and tanks). So by every death the social party's scream: get them out!. because of those non violence principles and indeed because of the popularity. On every casualty the dutch people are tending to change their mind, and agree with the politicians opinions....

I think the main point of the discussion or opinions in this topic has to be about the casualties, a casualty limit, what the limit is and about the risks, tho of course I'm interested in your opinion about the politicians to.

And here is another question:
Many of you are from the US,UK or other countries who have troops in foreign countries. How do you react on casualties or do you already think there are to many casualties?
mathiaus
Yes but if you want peace and stability and security, there are currently no other options other than using military force. Negotiations don't work and sanctions only aggravate people more.

On the matter of casualties, it's never a good thing to have dead soldiers brought home, but the people setting the road side bombs are just killing UK/US troops, their killing their own people. Therefore it is my opinion they should stay to get rid of these brainwashed people who think that blowing themselves up along with a new non-corrupt (or at least majorly less corrupt) police force. There's the whole religion thing as well. There's our forces standing between the sunnis and shias and little else. Many say we make things worse, I think without our troops they'd be slaughtering each other.
sandyclaus
I think the cost in lives in Afghanistan is easily acceptable for what is being accomplished there. I would even say we can go much further. Unfortunately, the real hammer and anvil of force, the United States, is bogged down in Iraqi folly, and I'll even say is eroding the ability of the democratic nations to use force at all.

I think the nature of a Democracy must be to oppose a prolonged war. You can't believe that individuals have rights and respect them enough to allow a vote and not be horrified at their deaths. Public support always reflects this. Only the most overt threats overcome this emotional inertia and make casualties accceptable.

I'm even starting to see evidence that the endemic empathy inherent in a democratic society is spilling over borders. Look at teh number of opposition movements based on the deaths of Afghanis and Iraqis. Look at the number of Isreali peace movements that oppose actions against Palestinians, or will even put their lives at risk to protect Palestinian homes. The rejection of force is starting to grow trans-national roots.

Now it is obvious America has stalled on the actual pursuit of terrorists, allowing the Taliban and Al-Queda to reconstitute itself in the Pakistan border region near the province of Waziristan on the Afghan border. This is the consensus of the U.S. national security estimate presented to the President last week. The forces that could deal with that and stabilize Afghanistan are in Iraq pursuing th "pinata" strategy that they won't kill us over here if they can kill us over there.

At the same time, we are just learning the extent to which forces were ordered to INCREASE civillian casualties and INCREASE the use of torture under Rumsfield's leadership. (If you find that statement shocking, read up on extrodinary renditions, the links between torture in gitmo and abu ghraib and teh current trail of the soldiers involved in the Haditha killings.) All this is against a backdrop of hundreds of thousands of civillian casualties thta errode international support not just for Iraq, but for all military action in the long run.

They way this stuff works is that after the war ends in Iraq, we will slowly learn the truth of what was done there. That will feed the general peace and war-opposition movements, and they will be stronger at the start of the next war. It was one of the lasting effects of Vietnam that the opposition to Iraq was instantenous.

It really puts the the pressure on our political and military leaders to be focused, precise and effective. I'd say a lot of allied support for Aghanistan depends on the amount of commitment they see from America and the outlook for long-term success.

Anyhow, that's my armchair analysis.
sandyclaus
I think the cost in lives in Afghanistan is easily acceptable for what is being accomplished there. I would even say we can go much further. Unfortunately, the real hammer and anvil of force, the United States, is bogged down in Iraqi folly, and I'll even say is eroding the ability of the democratic nations to use force at all.

I think the nature of a Democracy must be to oppose a prolonged war. You can't believe that individuals have rights and respect them enough to allow a vote and not be horrified at their deaths. Public support always reflects this. Only the most overt threats overcome this emotional inertia and make casualties accceptable.

I'm even starting to see evidence that the endemic empathy inherent in a democratic society is spilling over borders. Look at teh number of opposition movements based on the deaths of Afghanis and Iraqis. Look at the number of Isreali peace movements that oppose actions against Palestinians, or will even put their lives at risk to protect Palestinian homes. The rejection of force is starting to grow trans-national roots.

Now it is obvious America has stalled on the actual pursuit of terrorists, allowing the Taliban and Al-Queda to reconstitute itself in the Pakistan border region near the province of Waziristan on the Afghan border. This is the consensus of the U.S. national security estimate presented to the President last week. The forces that could deal with that and stabilize Afghanistan are in Iraq pursuing th "pinata" strategy that they won't kill us over here if they can kill us over there.

At the same time, we are just learning the extent to which forces were ordered to INCREASE civillian casualties and INCREASE the use of torture under Rumsfield's leadership. (If you find that statement shocking, read up on extrodinary renditions, the links between torture in gitmo and abu ghraib and teh current trail of the soldiers involved in the Haditha killings.) All this is against a backdrop of hundreds of thousands of civillian casualties thta errode international support not just for Iraq, but for all military action in the long run.

They way this stuff works is that after the war ends in Iraq, we will slowly learn the truth of what was done there. That will feed the general peace and war-opposition movements, and they will be stronger at the start of the next war. It was one of the lasting effects of Vietnam that the opposition to Iraq was instantenous.

It really puts the the pressure on our political and military leaders to be focused, precise and effective. I'd say a lot of allied support for Aghanistan depends on the amount of commitment they see from America and the outlook for long-term success.

Anyhow, that's my armchair analysis.
eday2010
These politicians seem to forget that it takes sacrifice sometimes to rebuild a country. And maybe they forget about the sacrifice that Canada made in World War II to free the Netherlands. We lost soldiers in that task. Many soldiers. But we fought on because it was the right thing to do.

But like mathiaus said, it is completely political. The Netherlands is a very liberal country, as are a lot of the politicians. Socialist politicians always cower away from conflict and war and use casualties to try and say that their country shouldn't be involved. It happens here in Canada too everytime we lose soldiers. Last month we lost 9 or 10 (66 total so far I believe), and before the bodies could even become cols, Jack Layton (leader of the NDP, a socialist party), was using their deaths to push his agenda of getting our troops out of Afghanistan. And on the other hand he wants us to send troops to Darfur. I love how these socialist politicians can be hypocritical and then try to explain how they are not.
rafifaisal
Hunterseaker wrote:
Hi guys,
Here is my opinion about the whole story:
I do think we have to continue AND extend the mission because we help to make a safer world, and also the combat missions are needed to make it safer. and yes people might get killed in those missions, tho it is a risk the soldiers know they run....


Hi Hunterseaker,
A very interesting topic to start, but there is a lot to say about this.
Especially in the Neo-Conservative world that the Americans together with Britain are trying to create.

IS this world safer like we view it ? Is the democracy we have in Europe the ONLY democracy ? Can this democracy be applied anywhere in the world ?

Frankly I don't think so. If you take Afghanistan as an example: Is it much safer now ? I don't think so.
Is Iraq safer now Saddam is gone ? Don't think so.
Hunterseaker
rafifaisal wrote:
Hunterseaker wrote:
Hi guys,
Here is my opinion about the whole story:
I do think we have to continue AND extend the mission because we help to make a safer world, and also the combat missions are needed to make it safer. and yes people might get killed in those missions, tho it is a risk the soldiers know they run....


Hi Hunterseaker,
A very interesting topic to start, but there is a lot to say about this.
Especially in the Neo-Conservative world that the Americans together with Britain are trying to create.

IS this world safer like we view it ? Is the democracy we have in Europe the ONLY democracy ? Can this democracy be applied anywhere in the world ?

Frankly I don't think so. If you take Afghanistan as an example: Is it much safer now ? I don't think so.
Is Iraq safer now Saddam is gone ? Don't think so.


That is an interesting point to indeed:
While there be any result in the end? Will all those casualties be for a lost cause?
I do think Iraq was safer before the western countries invaded Iraq. Now there is a civil war in Iraq and a war against the western countries.
When a country is a real threat to other countries like Afghanistan was I think it is the right thing to invade the country and defeat the terrorists, I do not think Iraq was a real threat so I think all the losses in Iraq are for the wrong case, the soldiers didn't die for a good cause.... ( I hope I explain this in the right way....)because Iraq wasn't a threat.
As I said before Afghanistan was a threat so I do believe that those soldiers die for a good cause.....

eday2010 wrote:
These politicians seem to forget that it takes sacrifice sometimes to rebuild a country. And maybe they forget about the sacrifice that Canada made in World War II to free the Netherlands. We lost soldiers in that task. Many soldiers. But we fought on because it was the right thing to do.

Believe me, we never forgot the Canadians or the other liberation army's. We commemorate
the people who gave there lives to liberate us very often. actually there are always flowers at the memorial stone for the fallen Canadian soldiers.
rafifaisal
Good to read that people agree when it comes to the Iraq topic.
The situation now in Iraq is much more dangerous for the world than it was before.
Before it was Saddam only we had to keep an eye on. Right now we have to keep the Soenits, Sjiits and the Kurds under control. Sending in more troops is working as a red cloth for a bull.

So what could be the sollution ? A full retreat is not a sollution anymore. I guess America and the allies have to finish what they started. As they are going right now, it is the wrong way.

Any of you guys a suggestion ? ?
standready
"War, What is it good for?, Absolutely nothing!" That is a line from an old song.
The sad part of war is the causalities and deaths, on both sides, especially when they are non-combatants. The bad part of these current actions is that it is not against a country or countries but rather about idealism of certain people. They do not wear uniforms, but rather cowardly hide within population. There are no true battle lines are not displayable on a map.
I am proud of all our troops, no matter which country they are from, who serve with honor.
rafifaisal
I was following the American Democrats Debate yesterday on CNN and learnt that an unconditional retrait without any residu troops (meaning troops staying behind to guarantee the safety) would take minimum 6 months.
The move would apply that one Brigade would move a month ! ! !

Wow...
So the Americans are stuck in America for another half year at least...
Looking somber for not only the american troops but for the whole world. Crying or Very sad
Davidgr1200
I think that there are two different questions here:
1. Should The Netherlands (or any other countries) send soldiers to a foreign country for the prupose of "keeping the peace"?
2. Is the killing of Dutch (or other country's soldiers) a reason to bring those soldiers back?

The answer to the first question is far more difficult than the second one and I shall not even try to answer it!

The answer to the second question is more about effectiveness. Soldiers are there because the people there are unable or unwilling to stop violence. This violence is going, to some extent, to be directed towards the soldiers and thus some soldiers are going to die. No politician can honestly say that they did not expect any deaths, or if they do then they have a very tenuous grip on reality and should not be in a position of power. So calling for troops to be brought home simply because some of them are being killed is not, of itself, a valid reason. However, if large numbers of soldiers are being killed and there appears to be no change in the amount of violence and death amongst the population who live in that country, then the ability of the leaders must be brought into question. If the soldiers are not producing the required results then someone up high has made wrong decisions. Perhaps one of those wrong decisions was to send the soldiers to that country?
rafifaisal
Davidgr1200 wrote:
...someone up high has made wrong decisions. Perhaps one of those wrong decisions was to send the soldiers to that country?


Well so much is clear I think.
Sending soldiers to Iraq for the reason that Iraq had weapons of mass destriction was one of the biggest blunders of the 21st Century.

Testimonies by top American officials have proven that invading Iraq was part of the "One percent policy" the Bush administration (especially Rumsfeld) have applied.

Putting political pressure and sustaining this pressure would have brought Saddam down eventually without all the killings going on right now and without costing it a fortune to the international community.
Hunterseaker
rafifaisal wrote:
I was following the American Democrats Debate yesterday on CNN and learnt that an unconditional retrait without any residu troops (meaning troops staying behind to guarantee the safety) would take minimum 6 months.
The move would apply that one Brigade would move a month ! ! !

Wow...
So the Americans are stuck in America for another half year at least...
Looking somber for not only the american troops but for the whole world. Crying or Very sad


Here is the next problem:
When we(The netherlands) pull back from Afghanistan, with unfinished business, are we responsible for the consequences of the pull back? Because when we leave, there will be a very instable country and tribal wars will soon follow.... Afterwards the Afghan government will say it was our fault because we shoot the country to pieces and haven't finished rebuilding it.....
I think you can compare the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan with a kind of quicksand: You get in very easily tho getting out is a very hard job.

When America pull back from Iraq, the tribal wars will run out of control, and more deaths will follow....
when America didn't invaded Iraq, those wars would never occur.
So it is the same story as the Afghanistan question.(although the discussion is extended a bit to more questions)

My partly solution:
Finish the rebuilding project in Afghanistan soon as possible, even send more troops and material to accelerate the process and then leave as soon as possible.

rafifaisal wrote:

Well so much is clear I think.
Sending soldiers to Iraq for the reason that Iraq had weapons of mass destriction was one of the biggest blunders of the 21st Century.

Testimonies by top American officials have proven that invading Iraq was part of the "One percent policy" the Bush administration (especially Rumsfeld) have applied.

Putting political pressure and sustaining this pressure would have brought Saddam down eventually without all the killings going on right now and without costing it a fortune to the international community.

I agree with that, Saddam wasn't an immediate threat to the world or the U.S
standready
I also agree that Saddam was not a threat to the world. George (I won't call him President) just wanted to go and do what the UN would not let his father do. Least during the first, there was a real reason for being there.
Jack_Hammer
You can't have war without casualties.
rafifaisal
Jack_Hammer wrote:
You can't have war without casualties.


... but with a good strategy and politics to back your war machine you can restrict your casualties to an absolute minimum.
achowles
Personally I think that troops are becoming more and more abused by their respective states.

Certainly that is true in the US and UK. They get sent into the kind of military situations they almost certainly didn't sign up for (situations that are in no way threatening to their country militarily, just economically). And while they're there they're subject to legal action even for actions they committed which they are entirely within their right to. Such as opening fire on a vehicle, the passengers in which had already shot at them. They hit the driver also and OMG noes! how dare they. Legal action!

The words that I would use to express my views of that are not permitted on this site.

Bottom line: troops in both countries (and no doubt others) are utterly s**t on now.

You say that it's to make a safer world, but the invasion of Iraq has contributed greatly to terrorist recruitment. The actual insurgency in Iraq seems to be fuelled by a number of sources. All of which want us out of there.
windrei
It's difficult to say. i understand what you mean of occupational hazard.. but does it mean that they must die or hurt ?? i don't think so. i think, yes, we must help people who are suffered and maintain the world become a safer place, but dangerous and war is never ended... who gave afghanistan the war ? not the Netherlands... but why the Dutch needs to sarcrifice and help another country to compensate what they did ??? So i do think the Netherlands army should leave and let the US to rebuild herself.
sonam
From one job (in Afganistan, Iraq, etc.) site:
Quote:
It should be understood that employment may be located in potentially dangerous areas, including combat or war zones. This might involve the possibility of suffering harm by dangerous forces or friendly fire. These dangers are inherent to working conditions in a dangerous environment.


I think how anyone can get information about war dangerous and consequences. Their risk are their chose. It is country politic to find out is it OK to send peoples in the war or not (in most situation you can do nothing about it) but on the end the man or woman have own decision.

Sonam
frozenhead
Every war that is recorded in history caused many deaths. It's sad to think that people die for other people for their own interests.

Wars are fought in a lost - lost situation, theres nothing good in it.
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