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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Keeping the Peace - The Main Task of Soldiers

I once was a soldier who believed that the primary task of a soldier is to wage war, but I have by now realised that idea is not correct anymore. The primary task of a soldier is not to just wage war because if that were the case we would wage war for the sake of waging war and for no other reason. The primary task of a soldier is to prevent war by being strong enough to scare off a potential enemy or to defeat that enemy and to return to a state of peace. Therefore the primary task of a soldier is peacekeeping.

In order for a country to remain strong enough to prevent war or defeat any enemy it needs to motivate, train and equip its military. For that reason neglecting its military serves no purpose as they leave their military unable to fight, which is a waste of money and may eventually lead to a waste of human life. "To lead untrained people to war is to throw them away." - Confucius.

The exceptions to peacekeeping are countries that invade other countries under the guise of trying to prevent future conflict, but who undertake said action for some other less noble reason such as self-enrichment. Eventually their actions may actually lead to future conflict and not prevent it. History teaches us that such invasions lead to the invading countries usually being defeated or having to withdraw at some stage anyway. Thus in the end simple peacekeeping is all that was required.

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