The Deepest Darkest Open Secret

Producer Sarah King interviews a soldier on his experiences in Afghanistan. He talks about the culture shock in training, learning how many men there were excited to fight but didn’t discuss what they were fighting for. Much like personal accounts of Desert Storm that turned into the movie Jarhead, this older deceives present-day soldiers as having the name hunger to take out a target. He believes this comes from the programming they receive in training, aggressive encounters with the drill sergeant, constant shooting training with the promise that one day it will be a live target. He believes this programmed aggression gets war prisoners tortured or killed, and results in the periodic war crimes like present-day Eddie Gallagher’s. A larger problem may be the lack of personality screening in recruitment, considering 4% of the population is diagnosed with an antisocial personality disorder, also known as sociopathy.

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Air force pilots are particularly insulated from the emotional impact of the battlefield, never having to look the enemy in the eyes. They also are not often able to judge whether all targets are really a threat or innocent bystanders, relying only on intelligence sources. This has led to many cases of “collateral damage”