NATO command considering a medal for “courageous restraint?”

Only in these times could the NATO command come up with an idea as silly as this. (story here from the NavyTimes)

U.S. troops in Afghanistan could soon be awarded a medal for not doing something, a precedent-setting award that would be given for “courageous restraint” for holding fire to save civilian lives.

The proposal is now circulating in the Kabul headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force, a command spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

“The idea is consistent with our approach,” explained Air Force Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis. “Our young men and women display remarkable courage every day, including situations where they refrain from using lethal force, even at risk to themselves, in order to prevent possible harm to civilians. In some situations our forces face in Afghanistan, that restraint is an act of discipline and courage not much different than those seen in combat actions.”

In other words, “Congratulations soldier, even though half your unit was wiped out you did nothing and no civilians were killed. Here’s your courageous restraint medal.” Why do I get the feeling that most of these medals will be awarded posthumously? Why do we take in volunteers for the military, spend weeks or months training them to kill the enemy and destroy things, then send them into battle in some hell hole on the other side of the earth?

Just a few points to ponder:

  • Not a single one of our combat troops are doing their jobs to collect medals.
  • It is the enemy that uses civilians for human shields.
  • No one wants or tries to kill civilians – they usually avoid these situations if possible.
  • With very few exceptions, the military awards medals for action not inaction in combat.
  • In the history of war, collateral damage and civilian casualties have been part of combat.

No doubt our dear comrade leader will support this idiocy…

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