The latest research from The US Army's Mental Health Advisory Team makes depressing reading , summarised here .
A survey of U.S. troops in combat in Iraq found that less than half of Marines and a little more than half of Army soldiers said they would report a member of their unit for killing or wounding an innocent civilian.
10 percent reported personally abusing Iraqi civilians. Mistreatment includes hitting or kicking a civilian.
Only 47 percent of the soldiers and 38 percent of Marines said noncombatants should be treated with dignity and respect. About a third of troops said they had insulted or cursed at civilians in their presence.
44 percent of Marines and 41 percent of soldiers said torture should be allowed to save the life of a soldier or Marine.
39 percent of Marines and 36 percent of soldiers said torture should be allowed to gather important information from insurgents.
Lest we forget :-
"The healthy man does not torture others—generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers"- Carl Jung .
“The aim of military training is not to prepare men for battle , but to make them long for it" - Louis Simpson
So should we be at all surprised by such findings ?