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"Courageous Restraint"

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http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/05/mili...edal_051110mar/

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.”

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I'd just like to say that even in a war not all civilians are the enemy. Not even close.

More often than you might think civilians and the military forces in their countries to "help them" clash. Situations arise where both sides are agitated for whatever reason and tensions are high. Many of these civilians are armed as a matter of course, as you would be if you were surrounded day and night by various waring factions, warlords, criminal gangs and terrorists.

Sweeping knowledge of Rambo movies and traditional force on force warfare aside there are indeed situations in counter insurgency operations in which shooting first is not only not the smart or brave thing to it can in fact be the wrong thing to do; morally, legally and ethically wrong.

That said, there is no need for a medal for it. Such actions are already covered by citations, commendations, mentions in dispatches, medals of merit etc, etc, etc...

Anyone who thinks this medal is going to be handed out to the first guy that stops shooting is delusional.

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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.

It's not at risk to themselves, it's at risk to everyone participating in the operation. If war was an individual effort, I would say go ahead, risk your life for a medal. But it's not.

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