Friday, August 26, 2005

The Truth About Killing

I watched one of the best documentaries that I have ever seen last night on National Geographic. The documentary is called "The Truth About Killing" and it stars journalist Grub Smith. Grub Smith was inspired to make this documentary when he heard a shocking fact about the soldiers of World War 2: According to an initial survey of soldiers after the war, it was determined that only 15-2o out of every 100 soldiers were shooting to kill.

The documentary found that more significant investigations into battlefield statistics revealed that only 2% of soldiers on the battlefield were killing the enemy. The other 98% were not cowards. Most were providing support and the few that did fire their guns were shooting wildly and inaccurately. Essentially, only 2% of the male population can bring themselves to consciously kill another human being. Of this 2%, half are psychopaths who feel no empathy for other people and often enjoy killing. The other half of the 2% are people who feel strong empathy with those men in their unit and their drive to protect their men allows them to kill the enemy.

The modern armies of the U.S., Britain, and a few other countries have now developed training techniques to overcome this natural instinct not to kill. Killing is now a reflex response(similar to a Pavlov Response) built into the training programs of infantry soldiers. This is one of the biggest reasons that the U.S. and British armies have had such higher kill rates than their opponents in situations of man to man combat. One example of this given was the U.S. soldiers in Somalia. While 18 American Soldiers died, nearly 360 Somali militia were killed by the American special forces.

I don't know if this documentary will be played in the U.S. If it is, then I think anyone who can should check it out.