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Understanding the Psychology of Combat in the Law of War CDT Burns, Jacob UNCLASSIFIED.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding the Psychology of Combat in the Law of War CDT Burns, Jacob UNCLASSIFIED."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding the Psychology of Combat in the Law of War CDT Burns, Jacob UNCLASSIFIED

2 Purpose and Scope Purpose: The purpose of this briefing is to inform cadets of the Wildcat Battalion and others about the psychology of combat in the law of war. At the conclusion of this briefing the audience will have a better understanding of the topic allowing them to be more competent military leaders and members of society. Scope: This informational briefing will be conducted in three sections. Each of which will contain information to facilitate the understanding of the psychology of engaging the enemy in combat, in accordance with the rules of engagement (ROE) to uphold the laws and regulations of war.

3 Agenda Section 1: The Psychology of Combat Fight-or-Flight Training vs. Conditioning Proximity Results Section 2: The Law of War Origins League of Nations & United Nations Nuremberg Trials & Geneva Conventions Rules of Engagement Law of Armed Conflict Section 3: Making Connections Authority & Milgram Obedience to Powers My Lai Massacre & UCMJ Conclusion References

4 Section 1: The Psychology of Combat

5 Stress Responses Fight-or-Flight Stress response through the Sympathetic Nervous System Secretion of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol Increase of strength, speed, and power Freeze Posture-or-Submit

6 Training vs. Conditioning Operant Conditioning A form of associative learning in which the consequences of a behavior change the probability of the behaviors occurrence Rewards and Punishments Strengthening or weakening voluntary behaviors Classical Conditioning Association between an involuntary response Conditioning of neutral stimuli Learning- A systematic, relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs through experience Connections or associations between events

7 Conditioned responses The No. 1 [gunner] was 17 years old – I knew him. His No. 2 [assistant gunner] lay on the left side, beside him, his head toward the enemy, a loaded magazine in his hand ready to whip onto the gun the moment the No. 1 said “Change!” The No. 1 started firing, and a Japanese machine gun engaged them at close range. The No. 1 got the first burst through the face and neck, which killed him instantly. But he did not die where he lay, behind the gun. He rolled over to tap his No. 2 on the shoulder in the signal that means Take over. The No. 2 did not have to push the corpse away from the gun. It was already clear.

8 Proximity An individuals resistance to killing increases as the distance from the target decreases.

9 Results of Stress Re-experiencing the traumatic event through thoughts, memories, dreams, or flashbacks Avoidance of activities that remind of the event, or related thoughts, feelings, or conversations Reduced responsiveness or separation from their environment, people, or loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed Increased arousal, negative emotions, and guilt resulting in trouble concentrating, sleep problems, anxiety, anger, or depression

10 Section 2: Law of War

11 Origins of the Law of War Developed from: Religion Culture Policy Traditions Events “For example, in the Bible, Goliath suggested that a contest between two champions would be used instead of using two armies. Thus: ‘If he be able to fight with me, and kill me, then we will be your servants, but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then ye shall be our servants and serve us’” (Gillespie, 2011).

12 League of Nations & United Nations First international organization whose principal goal was to maintain and enforce world peace Established at the end of the First World War The League of Nations resolved some territorial disputes and minor conflicts One of its primary tasks was to enforce the disarmament of countries whose militaries were getting too large Established 24 October 1945 Objectives: Maintaining international peace and security Promoting human rights Fostering social and economic development Protecting the environment Providing humanitarian aid in famine, natural disasters, and armed conflict

13 Nuremberg Trials & Geneva Conventions International Military Tribunal (IMT) tried individuals for Crimes against peace, War crimes, Crimes against humanity. Four separate conventions with additional protocols introduced over time International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide Treatment for: the wounded and sick in armed forces in the field the wounded, sick and shipwrecked of armed forces at sea prisoners of war rights of civilians

14 Rules of Engagement International ROE via NATO Standing Rules of Engagement (SROE) Inherent right of self-defense National, Collective, Mission Accomplishment v. Self-Defense Declared Hostile Force Hostile Acts Hostile Intent Imminent Use of Force Mission-specific ROE ROE Cards Change over time

15 ROE Card

16 Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) Four principles are used to help govern the actions of soldiers: Military Necessity Distinction Avoid Unnecessary Suffering Proportionality

17 Section 3 : Making Connections

18 Authority & Milgram 1961 experiment to test obedience Influenced by the authority figure, proximity of the victim, & the experimental procedure

19 Obedience to Powers Corrosive Power Reward Power Expert Power Legitimate Power Referent Power

20 My Lai Massacre & UCMJ Tet Offensive in 1968 Lt. Calley followed orders of Cpt. Medina Defense of obedience Legally obligated to disobey

21 Diffusion of Responsibility

22 Conclusion & Questions

23 References Center for Army Leassons Learned (CALL). (2011, May). Rules of Engagement Handbook. Rules of Engagement Vignettes: Observations, Insights, and Lessons. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, United States of America: Combined Arms Center (CAC). Comer, R. J. (2014). Fundmentals of Abnormal Psychology (7th ed.). New York, New York: Worth Publishers. Crowe, D. M. (2009, November). War Crimes and Genocide in History, and the Evolution of Responsive International Law. Nationalities Papers, 37(6), 757-806. doi:10.1080/00905990903230777 Emerson, W. K. (2004). Marksmanship in the U.S. Army: A Historyof Medals, Shooting Programs, and Training. Norman: Universtiy of Oklahoma Press. Geneva Concentions. (1949; 1977; 1993; 2005). 1949 Conventions and Additional Protocols, and their Commentaries. Retrieved January 2014, from Internaional Committee of the Red Cross: http://www.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/vwTreaties1949.xsp Gillespie, A. (2011). A History of the Laws of War: The Customs and Laws of War with Regards to Combatants and Captives (Vol. I). Oxford, United Kingdom: Hart Publishing Ltd. Grossman, D. (2009). On Killing. New York, New York: Little, Brown and Company. International Law Commission. (1950, July 29). Prinicples of Internaional Law Recongnized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, 1950. Retrieved from International Committee of the Red Cross: http://www.icrc.org/ihl/INTRO/390 Kassin, S., Fein, S., & Markus, H. R. (2011). Social Psychology (8th ed.). (J.-D. Hague, Ed.) Belmont, California: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. King, L. A. (2013). Experience Psychology (2nd ed.). New York, New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Linder, D. (1999). An Introduction to the My Lai Courts-Martial. Retrieved from University of Missouri-Kansas City Law: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mylai/mylai.htm

24 References Continued Luttrell, M. R. (2007). Lone Survivor. New York, New York: Little, Brown and Company. Marshall, S. L. (1947). Men Against Fire. New York: University of Oklahoma Press. Meisels, T. (2012, December). In Defense of the Defenseless: The Morality of the Laws of War. Political Studies, 60(4), 919- 935. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9248.2012.00945.x Olpin, M. (n.d.). Weber State University. Retrieved December 2013, from Stress Physiology Chapter: http://faculty.weber.edu/molpin/healthclasses/1110/bookchapters/stressphysiologychapter.htm Powers, R. (2013). Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC): The Rules of War. Retrieved January 2014, from About.com U.S. Military: http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/wars/a/loac.htm Scarborough, R. (2013, November 26). Rules of Engagement Limit the Actions of U.S. Troops and Drones in Afghanistan. The Washington Times. Retrieved from http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/26/rules-of-engagement-bind-us- troops-actions-in-afgh/?page=all United States. (1976). FM 27-10 The Law of Land Warfare. Washington D. C., United States of Amercia: Department of the Army. United States. (1992). FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation. Washington D. C., United States of America: Department of the Army. United States Army. (2007). FM 3-21.8 The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad. Washington D.C., United States of America: Headquarters Department of the Army. United States Joint Chiefs of Staff. (2005). Chapter 5 Rules of Engagement. In Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction 3121.01B (pp. 85-120). Washington D.C., United States of America. Williams, F. D. (1994). SLAM: The Influence of S. L. A. Marshall on the United States Army. (S. Canedy, Ed.) Washington, D. C.: United States Army Training and Doctrine Command.


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