By way of Thomas Ricks, here's another agonized take on how the US military has allowed itself to be mesmerized by false values in the last decade. Three officers -- Lt. Col. Peter Fromm, U.S. Army, Retired; Lt. Col. Douglas Pryer, U.S. Army; and Lt. Col. Kevin Cutright, U.S. Army -- have published an article in Military Review entitled The Myths We Soldiers Tell Ourselves: and the Harm These Myths Do. They are unstinting in their analysis of how the profession they wish they could be proud of has violated its proclaimed moral principles.
Ever since civilian leaders in the Bush administration chose to normalize and embrace torture in their wars, the strongest bulwark against worse atrocities has been the professionalism of people who were part of the system -- soldiers, lawyers, even spooks -- who took it on themselves to protest what they saw as violations of essential ethical norms. There's a lot to be said for ethical education; these officers have made a worthy contribution. The article can be downloaded at the link.