A Military Medal for Doing Nothing?

We all know the Purple Heart and the Silver Star medals, awarded to U.S. Soldiers wounded or killed in service, and the Medal of Honor, the highest military recognition bestowed to those who "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States."

A new military award might be added to the list soon: the “Courageous Restraint” medal that according to NATO will recognize soldiers for “courageous restraint” if they avoid using force that could endanger innocent lives. The AP reports that those who back the idea hope it will provide soldiers with another incentive to think twice before calling in an airstrike or firing at an approaching vehicle if civilians could be at risk.

We have celebrated military heroism and commended our military leaders many times here at BreakPoint. But I think NATO commanders got it wrong -- they got it in reverse. Isn’t the “Courageous Restraint” award a better incentive to terrorists and other enemies of the United States to not use their weapons and not kill innocent civilians? Wouldn't that be more appropriate than awarding it to our troops?


Don't we already give out promotions for carrying out missions? Logically if the mission calls for the minimizing of civilian casualties as a high priority then the reward should be in promotions.

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