Ethics of war
As I read the Wikileaks and newspapers on Kashmir and a hundred other places, one big thing stands out.
Where the human rights suffer, the wars are exercises in frustration. An Army hurting civilians is an Army actively creating enemies and making its own job harder. It seems tempting to ignore abuses. Who would know unless we told them that x number of civilians died? Why demoralize soldiers by punishing them?
Yet, we see over and over. Other civilians know. And they take opportunities to strike back. They may appreciate the purpose of the Army, but it becomes less important than finding justice. If they fail, eventually, the purpose becomes undesirable, and a thirst for unending ‘justice’ builds up.
In Kashmir, the Indian Army is doing a magnificent job of maintaining security. For all that it is the most militarized zone in the world, it is an enduring operation, one that has actually caused less casualties for comparable scope than anywhere else in the world. Yet, what is it that the people remember? What is it that drives the Kashmiris to fall victim to Pakistan sponsored elements trying to destabilize the region? Listen to the protests. Their people got killed, and the perpetrators got away with it. They don’t believe that India has their safety in mind.
If we read the Wikileaks, we see the Pakistani Army doing similar things in Swat and Balochistan. Civilians killed feeds the Taliban, soldiers killed feeds revenge killings. Unending conflict that feeds itself.
Earlier Wikileaks describe similar issues in Afghanistan and Iraq. Human history is filled with stories like this, with one common factor. It is overwhelmingly difficult to violate human rights and win.
I think it is high time human rights violations were ruthlessly proscecuted, because failing to do that will only explode war expenses on a purely un-emotional level and increase unnecessarily all the grief and devastation of war for people who were not the real targets to begin with.