Crime on the Battlefield

Neal A. Puckett and Marcelyn Atwood

in The Oxford Handbook of Military Psychology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195399325
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Crime on the Battlefield

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The current Department of Defense global missions focused on combating terrorism would benefit from the discipline of military psychology to influence and inform the development of standard operating procedures, the management of flexible rules of engagement, and the treatment of individuals in the military justice system. Military procedures are increasingly disconnected from today’s combat conditions, requiring a high level of individual situational analysis. These military procedures, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and good order and discipline processes are increasingly in conflict with, rather than supportive of, the individual choices made when facing imminent danger. Rules of engagement, standard operating procedures, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice must rapidly adapt to the new terrorist-warfare psychological pressures that challenge good order and discipline, command responsibility, and unit cohesion. Military psychology must constantly inform, with concrete factors, the military’s modification of rules of engagement, standard operating procedures, and military justice laws, policies, and procedures to be more responsive to a changing battlefield environment.

Keywords: Military justice system; rules of engagement; Uniform Code of Military Justice; War on Terror; good order and discipline; command responsibilities

Article.  10063 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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