Whatever Happened to Surrender?

Why, then, so few surrenders today? According to the book’s contributors, surrender has always been difficult when victor and vanquished lack common values and trust — e.g., Christians and pagans, or Christians and Muslims. Classical theorists of war, such as Grotius, writes Edward Spiers, professor of strategic studies at the University of Leeds, expected that rules of surrender „could apply within Christendom or between ‘civilized’ adversaries, but not in wars against ‘savages,’ where the nature of the combat and the likelihood of reprisals precluded the likelihood of restraint.”

Another reason for our surrender drought: Only losers surrender. With the big contemporary battles mentioned at the outset, no one appears to be a clear winner, and neither has either party turned hopeless about victory. Co-editor Strachan, who remarks that „the readiness to surrender has rarely been weaker,” floats another provocative explanation: Many political and military leaders today hold that „force protection is a principle of war,” that „casualties are either avoidable or even unnecessary,” and so „casualty avoidance” arguably becomes more important than victory.


Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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