Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret)
the 1921 publication of his book, Command of the Air,
Guilio Douhet became one of the world's first recognized
airpower adherents, claiming that the disintegration of
nations brought about by attrition in World War I would
be accomplished directly by aerial forces in the future.
Since then airpower advocates have repeatedly proclaimed
their ability to win wars solely through what has accurately
been termed "distant punishment." But Douhet had an
excuse that present day "air barons" do not: his belief
was based upon current scientific theory. That is, current
as of 80 years ago. A theory which has since been soundly
disproven and is no longer accepted by any scientific body.
The Origin of the Myth of Distant
casualties were termed "shell shock" and it was sincerely
(and quite incorrectly) believed that these casualties
were a result of the physical impact of prolonged concussions
on the brain.
Real Cause of Psychiatric Casualties......it
is very natural and normal to respond to an attacking,
aggressive fellow human being with a phobic-scale response.
This is a universal human phobia.
Death of a Myth......the
myth of distant punishment fulfills a deep-seated need,
rooted in the avoidance of personal confrontation and
a need to deny the consequences of combat.
and Soon to be Illegal?......small
arms fire kills or injures comparatively few non-combatants,
but instruments of "distant punishment" (land mines,
aerial bombing, and artillery) are responsible for the
vast majority of the indiscriminate slaughter of non-combatants
the Author: Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
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