JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

Role of Morals, Ethics and Motivation in a Counter-insurgency Environment

Col Vivek Chadha (Retd) is a Research Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • April 2013
    Volume: 
    7
    Issue: 
    2
    Articles

    Morals, ethics and motivation are the bedrock of the Indian Army, since it is considered more than a profession: a way of life. These qualities are put to test under most conditions of soldiering; however, there cannot be a more difficult environment than involvement of an army in protracted counter-insurgency (CI) operations. The conditions faced pose peculiar challenges, which force a soldier to adapt. This adaptation can potentially become a morally corrupting influence unless the ethical standards of a force and its moral bearings continue to guide actions. This is also an important determinant for leading a motivated army in such operations. This article assesses the circumstances and peculiarities of CI operations, the linkage between morals, ethics and motivation, impact of poor implementation of these values, and the measures to sustain a high-value system. Finally, it analyses the impact of these factors on the realities of CI operations.

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