Kind of an extreme case:
“If you see anyone from about sixteen to sixty-five and they’re male, shoot ‘em. Kill every male you see.”
–Chris Kyle, “the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history,” in his autobiography, describing the effective (although not official) rules of engagement for a US sniper in Iraq.
I don’t think it’s sexism, I think it’s “reality”.
If you are an invading army and you have 100 men in a village and 100 women, the 100 men could possibly cause severe damage to you. The 100 women are not going to be as significant a threat, not by a long shot, and regardless of college rhetoric.
A lot of these kinds of topics play out with police officers as well. You can be politically correct and pretend up to a certain point, but it’s a far different story when your life may depend on your choices and discernment. Reality then beats “the narrative”.
I assume you’re saying that military training that requires turning off their empathy to do the job hurts men? I’ve worked with a few vets with PTSD and I’d have to agree.
That actually was part of what I was thinking, yes.
By coincidence, I just happened to be reading today parts of the al-Sweady report into atrocities allegedly committed by British soldiers in Iraq, which considered a claim by one of the soldiers that he had given an order to “kill anyone”. Specifically, in one of two “accounts” written in late 2004 (i.e. some months after the events, but some years before the matter was considered by the inquiry) Sergeant Kelly wrote:
However, in his evidence to the inquiry, Kelly said
Kelly went on to testify that his claimed order to “kill anyone” was just such an “embellishment” and that he had never given such an order. Kelly’s denial was corroborated by Wells and other soldiers, and accepted by the inquiry. (See paragraphs 2.365 through 2.373)
I suspect Kyle’s autobiography might have been similarly “embellished”.
Undoubtedly at times of particular stress, some American and some British troops will have entered a “kill everyone” or a “kill every male” mindset. For example, there are indications that the Haditha atrocity “started out as an indiscriminate slaughter [then] morphed … into a targeted cull of men.”
However I doubt that significant numbers of troops operated in these mindsets all the time, though they may have wanted to. The very need to “protect generals from politicians” would cause the former to weed out such rogue elements under their command. Still less do I believe that the US or UK military operated to an unofficial “kill anyone male” RoE, notwithstanding the possibly embellished claims of individual soldiers seeking lucrative book deals.
Perhaps originally more of a post-hoc justification than a rule of engagement, but there is the fact that all military-aged men/boys who are killed by drone-strikes are counted as militants and not as civillians.
I seem to remember that Ampersand had a post about this back in 2012.