Recently, I’ve been curious if there’s any relationship between someone committing war crimes and previously viewing them.
For example, the War in Afghanistan is considered asymmetrical warfare, where the enemy has no rule book in regards to international law, and the soldier has the international law as well as their own set of rules of engagements (RoE) to follow. As time goes on, many of their comrades are wounded or killed from seemingly preventable things if they didn’t have to follow a set of rules of engagement while the enemy were ignoring them (using children in wars, indiscriminate weapons, hiding in civilian crowds).
Considering this then, is there a link between longer exposure to ‘dirty’ war fighting (not following international law) and the ability to carry out said rules of engagements without emotional compromise.
It seems logical that as you witness warcrimes committed against yourself or the people around you, that the chances of you breaking your own RoE to have a (relatively) fair playing field against the enemy starts to increase. Particularly for soldiers in sustained combat.
I don’t really have any research on this from what I’ve tried to find. I’m a mechanical engineer by trade so probably way out of my depth, so if there are good places to look for this kind of material, I’d be happy to have it sent to me. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated too!