d. Allied Demonstration. We demonstrated to the world who we are and what
we are, and sent a loud message to all regarding the sort of things we fight for. War
isn't just to kill, maim, and destroy. War isn't a time when mercenaries can simply be
cut loose to destroy and ravage and pillage. The actions of the Coalition Forces
enabled the swift defeat of an enemy that had one of the largest military machines in the
world. Iraq's violation of international law did nothing to achieve a military objective or
victory, but simply united the world against it. It was a lesson for which Iraq paid dearly,
as is generally the case.
When your fellow soldiers ask why we comply with the law of war, the answer
isn't just because we're nice people who want to do the right, humane thing. That may
be a part of who and what we are all about, but it certainly isn't the whole picture. The
law of war is the result of centuries of experiences on the battlefield. We do things
because it makes sense to do them, because violating the law of war is just plain stupid.
We don't bomb museums and blow up churches because that's a stupid waste of
ammunition and a reckless irresponsible endangerment of the lives of our aircrews.
Such actions on our part would do nothing to shorten the conflict, but would only serve
to inflame the enemy and intensify its will to fight us to the death at all costs.
Compliance with the law of war enables us quickly attain a military victory, with minimal,
destruction and loss of life on both sides, and that's what this is all about.