Department of Government
Stephen F. Austin State University
Nacogdoches, Texas

Terrorism and the Military Institution: How do you Justify Military Atrocities?

The role of the military institution, since its inception, is to protect and defend the society it serves. Unfortunately, over the years, the military as an institution has become a threat to societies with its technological advancement and financial investments by nations globally continue to soar. This means societies regularly fund ways to perfect military atrocities by justifying the institution’s actions. As the Chinese philosopher, Mo Ti, asked about two thousand years ago, when will military killing be considered a murder instead of rewarding the killers? Individuals such as Napoleon Bonaparte (France), Jerry John Rawlings (Ghana), Iddi Amin (Uganda), Francisco Franco (Spain), Muammar al-Qaddafi (Libya), Augusto Pinochet (Chile) and many other coup makers have used the institution to ascend to power through military coups and have terrorised their own citizens. Additionally, powerful nations such as the United States, Israel, and Russia use their military might to threaten weaker ones and the former are more likely to justify their atrocities: For example, British colonization relied on its military to control the colonized. The underlying question is: Has the military become a tool for terrorism? Or should military crimes not be considered acts of terrorism?

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