Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


The strategic ... conscript

As you all know, the USMC general with the bad-ass name, General Krulac, has written on the Strategic Corporal - a realisation that in today's media saturated society a NCO and the decisions he take can have a major impact on the strategic level.

Today we see an example of the Strategic Conscript, as a Danish former conscript in Danske Artilleriregiment in Skive, who has written a coloumn for the Danish paper Politiken, accusing an officer of lecturing in POW treatment by saying "Shoot them instead of taking them prisoner".

This is of course a wrong statement to make, one that reveals that particular officer's lack of chivallery - but it is not surprising. It is the kind of thought that is rampant in SOFs, as well as among the more cynical officers (though I must admit I read it as if he has urged the conscripts to shoot straight before they get into a situation where they can take prisoners, not to shoot prisoners).

However this becomes a 'strategic' problem when it is revealed by a conscript, an unblemished son of the people who speaks out with his just moral conviction. The Danish military is not able to defend the stance and thus are automatically in a position of defence. In a professional army you wouldn't have this kind of problem as the soldier would feel like an employee and don't go to the media like that. On the other hand you will probably have more problems with cruel mistreatment of prisoners...


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