Mark Barnes Columnist

In the military, particularly in times of war, you must obey orders. There can be no questioning of authority, there can be no doubt. You are not being asked to do something that is reasonable or logically defensible. At any time in a “contact” (as engaging in hostile fire with the enemy is politely referred to) you may either die or kill someone you’ve never even met (let alone had the chance to decide whether you like or not).

That’s war. Its purpose: defending some definition of sovereignty you want as a defined people with a right to self-determination.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now