War the Experience of War Has Changed Thesis

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The Experience of War

War has changed greatly in character from the days of knights in shining armor. The concept of a "state" rather than just a regional ruler has changed the dynamic of war. Rather than meeting on a battlefield and duking it out, two armies now willfully attack civilian targets to demoralize a population, cut off trade routes to starve a population, and, if it comes to it, invade and conquer to dominate a population. The fear of this type of war penetrating a single country is what has provoked so much peacemaking since World War II, the possibilities for nuclear destruction have forced an end to large-scale conflicts. Yet there do remain trouble spots all over the world. In 2003, Iraq became one of them, as the United States invaded the Middle Eastern country, and until 2011, has occupied and reshaped the country in every way possible. The Hurt Locker portrays a very real situation early in the war; that of random Improved Explosive Devices and their deadliness to U.S. troops. Inquiring from my cousin, an Army Infantryman in Iraq from 2007-2010, I will share anecdotal evidence from the latter stages of the war. Finally, I will analyze the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln, a piece of class American literature which exemplifies an example of a great leader's passion for those boys he sends into battle. "The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug." By Chris Hodges is a quote from The Hurt Locker showing the altered state one reaches when put under such high levels of stress and responsibility, for any participant from any war.

The Hurt Locker began with not an uncommon scene in Iraq; a young U.S. soldier who is tasked with defusing a discovered IED bomb. At the first sightings of IEDs, troops were unskilled in the best ways to defuse bombs, and lacked the equipment necessary to carry out these tasks, resulting in death or dismemberment.
The story follows three members of the U.S. Army's Explosive Ordnance Unit, who faced these threats first hand. It is revealed that it takes a special kind of insanity for a soldier to be able to walk into a bomb's blast radius with the intention of defusing it. The experience of war in this particular conflict is not one of man vs. man, but rather man vs. machine, and it is gruesome and very real. The unit's psychiatrist is killed in the middle of a mission, and tensions rise to the breaking point for the soldiers. The EOD unit has some close calls, but overcomes their obstacle for the duration of their mission, and one sees how the ability to control one's own fear and manage dangerous situations is the experience of the modern soldier.

From personal experiences interviewing family members who have been in war, the picture presented in the Hurt Locker is, unfortunately, not far from the truth. The recognition that this war was to be so prolonged and so bloody can only after the first casualties. As men and women signed up to go fight an enemy that was defined as "the terrorist" they failed to realize that what they would truly be fighting is a coward who would not show its face in the light and who would instead fight through fear, through the inspiration of fear in others, through explosive devices so well made for such a poor people that one could only marvel at, but which were all cowardly nonetheless. I have relatives who were in Vietnam, but for the sake of the Hurt Locker, I asked a close family member who was in America's….....

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