Is self defense war?

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Self defence is just that. The defence of your self, till you are no longer in danger. Under the law you are only allowed to use as much force as is deamed nessary to stop or subdue your attacker, not kill them.

That may be the way the law is in Ontario, Canada, in the USA it depend upon where you are. Generally speaking in the USA deadly force is only allowed in response to a deadly attack. It also depends upon if he's in your house or not, in Washington State if an intruder is in your house you can shoot him on sight. This goes back to English Common Law which states a man's home is his castle. This was tested severely a few years back when a 14 year old broke into a man's house. As the youth was in the process of fleeing out a window the home owner shot the youth in the buttocks with a shotgun, no charges were filed as he had not exited the house, if he had been in the front, side or backyard the owner would have been charged.
 

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I would say in the above scenario he is right. If your dealing with a mugger with a weapon who attacks you, yes, it is prudent to see him as an enemy combatant and you need to do what you need to do to survive.

I disagree. In war, we agress. In self defense, we defend. Both involve violence and can involve use of deadly force. However, there are some distinct differences (some here have disagreed with me about that those differences are).

1) in war, you pursue retreating enemies. Self-defense, you do not.

2) Your goal in war is to kill the enemy. In self-defense, your goal is to preserve your own life.

3) In war, deadly force is the first option used. In self-defense, it is the last.

4) In war, you kill because you've been ordered to do so. In self-defense, not so much.

5) In war, during battle you often kill indiscriminately. In self-defense, 'collateral damage' is considered less than optimum.

6) In war, you kill with extreme prejudice. In self-defense, you are expected to apply logic and intelligence to the situation.

7) In war, there are generally 'rules of engagement' that clearly and specifically spell out when battle may be engaged and enemy lives taken lawfully. In self-defense, there are always shades of gray and lines can be highly dependent on variable situations and the subjective reporting of 'fear for one's life' felt by the defendee.

8) In war, you plan and scheme to kill the enemy. Self-defense, again, not so much.

9) In war, you attack first. Self-defense, yeah, not.

10) In war, killing enemy combatants is sanctioned ahead of time. Self-defense only authorizes killing as a last resort under most circumstances.
 
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I disagree. In war, we agress. In self defense, we defend. Both involve violence and can involve use of deadly force. However, there are some distinct differences (some here have disagreed with me about that those differences are).

1) in war, you pursue retreating enemies. Self-defense, you do not.

2) Your goal in war is to kill the enemy. In self-defense, your goal is to preserve your own life.

3) In war, deadly force is the first option used. In self-defense, it is the last.

4) In war, you kill because you've been ordered to do so. In self-defense, not so much.

5) In war, during battle you often kill indiscriminately. In self-defense, 'collateral damage' is considered less than optimum.

6) In war, you kill with extreme prejudice. In self-defense, you are expected to apply logic and intelligence to the situation.

7) In war, there are generally 'rules of engagement' that clearly and specifically spell out when battle may be engaged and enemy lives taken lawfully. In self-defense, there are always shades of gray and lines can be highly dependent on variable situations and the subjective reporting of 'fear for one's life' felt by the defendee.

8) In war, you plan and scheme to kill the enemy. Self-defense, again, not so much.

9) In war, you attack first. Self-defense, yeah, not.

10) In war, killing enemy combatants is sanctioned ahead of time. Self-defense only authorizes killing as a last resort under most circumstances.

When he tries to kill you it becomes war. Again, it is the combat mindset I think the self defense instructor was speaking to, but yes, deadly force should only be used against a deadly attack. I think if you spend too much time analyzing your situation your going to find a blade going through your body before you react quite frankly.
 

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Self defence is just that. The defence of your self, till you are no longer in danger. Under the law you are only allowed to use as much force as is deamed nessary to stop or subdue your attacker, not kill them.
If a man attacks you with a knife and you are empty handed, no jury in the US will convict you of a crime if said attacker found themselves dead... Hence such terms as justifiable homicide are covered under self-defense.

That may be the way the law is in Ontario, Canada, in the USA it depend upon where you are. Generally speaking in the USA deadly force is only allowed in response to a deadly attack. It also depends upon if he's in your house or not, in Washington State if an intruder is in your house you can shoot him on sight. This goes back to English Common Law which states a man's home is his castle. This was tested severely a few years back when a 14 year old broke into a man's house. As the youth was in the process of fleeing out a window the home owner shot the youth in the buttocks with a shotgun, no charges were filed as he had not exited the house, if he had been in the front, side or backyard the owner would have been charged.
Exactly - so if you are attacked with a weapon and they are playing for keeps, you will end up hurt if you do not respond appropriately. MAists who are afraid of using deadly force in situations where they are being attacked with weapons, tend to end up severely hurt or dead.

When he tries to kill you it becomes war. Again, it is the combat mindset I think the self defense instructor was speaking to, but yes, deadly force should only be used against a deadly attack. I think if you spend too much time analyzing your situation your going to find a blade going through your body before you react quite frankly.
I agree, when some one makes it for keeps, it is war. It is them or you, and you'd better believe I'm fighting to WIN, not merely survive in the hospital because of a gun wound or a knife wound. My intention is to win, or for them to LOSE.
 

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I disagree. In war, we agress. In self defense, we defend. Both involve violence and can involve use of deadly force. However, there are some distinct differences (some here have disagreed with me about that those differences are).

1) in war, you pursue retreating enemies. Self-defense, you do not.

2) Your goal in war is to kill the enemy. In self-defense, your goal is to preserve your own life.

3) In war, deadly force is the first option used. In self-defense, it is the last.

4) In war, you kill because you've been ordered to do so. In self-defense, not so much.

5) In war, during battle you often kill indiscriminately. In self-defense, 'collateral damage' is considered less than optimum.

6) In war, you kill with extreme prejudice. In self-defense, you are expected to apply logic and intelligence to the situation.

7) In war, there are generally 'rules of engagement' that clearly and specifically spell out when battle may be engaged and enemy lives taken lawfully. In self-defense, there are always shades of gray and lines can be highly dependent on variable situations and the subjective reporting of 'fear for one's life' felt by the defendee.

8) In war, you plan and scheme to kill the enemy. Self-defense, again, not so much.

9) In war, you attack first. Self-defense, yeah, not.

10) In war, killing enemy combatants is sanctioned ahead of time. Self-defense only authorizes killing as a last resort under most circumstances.

1. Wrong - To chase after enemies is a good way to find yourself in an ambush. Soldering 101.

2. Goals - sure, and when he attacks me with a gun or knife or three guys with bats, my goal is not put him in a wrist lock. At that point the game is for keeps and you had better play to win. It either me or them at that point.

3. Obviously, but the OP posted a situation where an opponent is trying to KILL you. Not hurt you, KILL you.

4. False. Frankly that is insulting to the honor and intelligence of soldiers everywhere. You kill because if you don't you will be! Furthermore, you do so because you volunteered to do so by joining an combat MOS. You see, a volunteer Army isn't FORCED to do anything. They do it because they volunteered for it.

5. "In war, during battle you often kill indiscriminately." Wrong. You are trained to kill with extreme discrimination, and are brought up on charges for indiscriminate killing.

6. "In war, you kill with extreme prejudice. In self-defense, you are expected to apply logic and intelligence to the situation." Yup. Soldiers are unintelligent illogical killers. Riiiiiight. Someone tries to kill me or someone near me and I can do something about it, the logical thing to do is to act. That means even if I have to kill the guy.

7. Not every military has rules of engagement. It's be nice if all militaries adhered to the geneva convention, but they don't.

8. I'll agree there.

9. Wishful thinking. If I know attack is imminent or I am out numbered, I will attack first. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. If I wait for them, I'm at the disadvantage, if I act first, in many cases I have the advantage due to unanticipated action.

Furthermore, in the war against the Japanese, a war we won, who attacked first? So no, "In war, you attack first." not a valid statement at all. Wars like SD fights have an attacker and a defender. And like a SD fight, often those roles change. The original defender launches a counter attack and the original attacker becomes the defender...

If in a SD you do not agress at some point, you will lose. There must eventually be some form of counter attack, even if it is qinna. Furthermore, the OP's original scenario stated that you were being attacked by a knife in an alley. Where I come from you don't try to stab a dude unless you intend on killing him.
 

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Nobody seemed to pick up on the second point of the post which is it depends on the situation. If your dealing with a loved one, such as a drunk uncle or some close friend or relative who is emotionally distraught and takes a swing at you and perhaps connects, I would say in this context it really isn't war. True, you don't want to stand around and get pummelled, but in that situation you would likely try to restrain the person or something less drastic than an enemy combatant in a war or serious self defense situation. I think the situation is obviously very important.

This depends. Did Uncle X or Friend X just swing, or are they coming at you with the intent to kill? Do they have a weapon or just empty handed? What set them off? Did they seriously hurt another family member before coming at you? These things change a lot.

Being attacked in an alley with a knife is simple, there is no context needed to determine that they are indeed a threat, and deadly force might very well be needed.
 

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This is the assertion of a self defense teacher. He believes, I think correctly, that it makes little difference if your bayoneted in a foreign country or if your knifed in an alley in a big city in the USA, the results are the same-you die. So the mindset when being in a situation like this is that of a combat mindset, willing to do what it takes to destroy the enemy.

I would say in the above scenario he is right. If your dealing with a mugger with a weapon who attacks you, yes, it is prudent to see him as an enemy combatant and you need to do what you need to do to survive. This would be different if your dealing with a drunk uncle who is acting aggressive towards you, in that scenario a different mindset would be appropriate, you wouldn't want to kill your uncle who is using less than lethal force and is acting stupidly due to inebriation. What do you think? All opinions appreciated.
I feel, from the posts so far, that there is a concensus that self defence is not war. Within the scenario there are multiple positions and the situation changes as the position changes.
OK, let's forget the drunk uncle. He's drunk and assuming we're not drunk, we should be able to avoid or control the situation without any recourse to any action resembling 'war'.
If there is a mugger with a weapon we have position one. The guy has bailed us up and is demanding something. We are justified in taking him out to the extent of removing risk to ourselves or others, not necessarily lethal force. Escaping may still be an option. In war, the guy is dead.
Position two, we have decided not to comply with the mugger's request and the guy turns nasty (as if he wasn't already
icon10.gif
). He moves with intent. We may now be justified in using lethal force but the law would still expect us to escape if that situation was available. If we are cornered, or others are involved, so be it. In war, the guy is dead.
In war it is basically kill or be killed. In this situation, if we have the choice of disengaging that is what we should do, no matter how tempting it might be to test our martial skill. The problem is if we engage, the outcome is in the balance. Anything can happen. If we have to engage, then it still is not war, but the mindset is the same. We must have the same kill or be killed mentality even if we don't exercise that final option. In war, the guy is dead. :asian:
 

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That may be the way the law is in Ontario, Canada, in the USA it depend upon where you are. Generally speaking in the USA deadly force is only allowed in response to a deadly attack. It also depends upon if he's in your house or not, in Washington State if an intruder is in your house you can shoot him on sight. This goes back to English Common Law which states a man's home is his castle. This was tested severely a few years back when a 14 year old broke into a man's house. As the youth was in the process of fleeing out a window the home owner shot the youth in the buttocks with a shotgun, no charges were filed as he had not exited the house, if he had been in the front, side or backyard the owner would have been charged.
Yes you are right ,the laws up here are differnt. I do belive a man's home is he castle and it should be defended as such, Thank you
 

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Hello, Even in WARS...we have rules to follow....

..just like self-defense in USA....we must suvivive....against the bad guys...yet what the bad guys do to us....they just land in jail and release to do it again and again....

..over 70% of crimes,rapes,missing children...is from repeat offenders...USA never learns anything but passion..

Wars...is like history...repeats again and again...

Martial arts...will last forever until man NO longer exist here on this planet..

Aloha, ...best to leave NOW?
 

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I disagree. In war, we agress. In self defense, we defend. Both involve violence and can involve use of deadly force. However, there are some distinct differences (some here have disagreed with me about that those differences are).

1) in war, you pursue retreating enemies. Self-defense, you do not.

2) Your goal in war is to kill the enemy. In self-defense, your goal is to preserve your own life.

3) In war, deadly force is the first option used. In self-defense, it is the last.

4) In war, you kill because you've been ordered to do so. In self-defense, not so much.

5) In war, during battle you often kill indiscriminately. In self-defense, 'collateral damage' is considered less than optimum.

6) In war, you kill with extreme prejudice. In self-defense, you are expected to apply logic and intelligence to the situation.

7) In war, there are generally 'rules of engagement' that clearly and specifically spell out when battle may be engaged and enemy lives taken lawfully. In self-defense, there are always shades of gray and lines can be highly dependent on variable situations and the subjective reporting of 'fear for one's life' felt by the defendee.

8) In war, you plan and scheme to kill the enemy. Self-defense, again, not so much.

9) In war, you attack first. Self-defense, yeah, not.

10) In war, killing enemy combatants is sanctioned ahead of time. Self-defense only authorizes killing as a last resort under most circumstances.

Great post Bill! I'll say that I'm one that has disagreed with you in the past, however, with the 10 examples that you've listed here, I can't find any disagreements. :)

Of course, if we look at #9 for a moment, the pre-emptive strike, depending on who you're talking to, could be considered as the good guy striking first. However IMHO, I don't look at it that way. Yes, I may be throwing the first shot, however, its in response to a) the bad guy initiating the incident and b) if the badguy starts to move aggressively towards me or starts to draw his hand back to hit me, I'm not waiting until it's half way to my face.
 

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I think one thing definately becomes obvious from this thread...

Using "war" as an analogy for self defense is a bad idea!! :fart:

I get what the OP meant; that in order to increase your chances of surviving an encounter where the attacker is using deadly force you have to be willing to meet that intent in kind, or even exceed it. You can't treat it like another game of tag in a Friday night round of light sparring.

However, the thread spiraled into a debate over what "war" really is, complete with definitions and bulleted points to demonstrate how "war" and "self defense" are two different things causing us to get further and further from the point the OP was intending.

IMHO, a debate or discussion about meeting deadly intent in kind, or times when you have to be nastier than the attacker would be much more interesting. :)
 

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Of course, if we look at #9 for a moment, the pre-emptive strike, depending on who you're talking to, could be considered as the good guy striking first. However IMHO, I don't look at it that way. Yes, I may be throwing the first shot, however, its in response to a) the bad guy initiating the incident and b) if the badguy starts to move aggressively towards me or starts to draw his hand back to hit me, I'm not waiting until it's half way to my face.

That was my thought as well when I wrote it. Yes, you can 'self-defensively' strike first, but (legally) only when you feel you are about to be attacked. In war, one attacks the enemy where one finds the enemy.
 

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When he tries to kill you it becomes war. Again, it is the combat mindset I think the self defense instructor was speaking to, but yes, deadly force should only be used against a deadly attack. I think if you spend too much time analyzing your situation your going to find a blade going through your body before you react quite frankly.

My point was not that you should analyze everything you do during self-defense. My point was that continuing to apply deadly force after the threat is removed is generally not allowed in self-defensive situations, and one must have the mental acumen to know when that threat has been removed. An example often given is the store clerk who reacts to an armed robber in his store by drawing his own weapon and firing. No problem. The the robber turns and flees, and the clerk pursues him into the parking lot and continues firing - problem. Not self-defense. In a military (war) situation, no problem at all.
 

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1. Wrong - To chase after enemies is a good way to find yourself in an ambush. Soldering 101.

I'm not a soldier, I'm a Marine. We have brains and use them. We pursue the retreating enemy - just not into ambushes if we can help it.

We will also shoot them in the back if they turn to run away in a stand-up gunfight, which again, not really a good self-defense move.

2. Goals - sure, and when he attacks me with a gun or knife or three guys with bats, my goal is not put him in a wrist lock. At that point the game is for keeps and you had better play to win. It either me or them at that point.

The main point of self-defense is just that - self defense. Two words, emphasis on 'self'. A Marine - or perhaps even a soldier - knows that 'self' is important, but the 'mission' is to be accomplished, and putting one's life in danger is part of that. One is not ordered to 'take that hill' in self-defense.

As far as 'playing to win', the goal of self-defense is to play to survive, which is in fact winning. If running away is the least risky means to achieve that end, then that's the winning solution. Once again, not really the military way.

3. Obviously, but the OP posted a situation where an opponent is trying to KILL you. Not hurt you, KILL you.

If someone is trying to KILL me with a rock from fifty feet away, I am going to analyze that threat and determine that I can a) dodge and b) leave the area and avoid being brained. If an enemy (in a military situation) raises a hand with a rock in it, I'm going to drop that SOB.

A person can try to KILL me in any number of a variety of ways. As a thinking rational human being (remember, I'm a Marine, not a soldier), I have to assign a threat level and respond accordingly.

4. False. Frankly that is insulting to the honor and intelligence of soldiers everywhere. You kill because if you don't you will be! Furthermore, you do so because you volunteered to do so by joining an combat MOS. You see, a volunteer Army isn't FORCED to do anything. They do it because they volunteered for it.

In war, the military is ordered to close with and kill the enemy. There is no dishonor in that, and I say that as a veteran with dust on my boots. I will not discuss that point any further.

5. "In war, during battle you often kill indiscriminately." Wrong. You are trained to kill with extreme discrimination, and are brought up on charges for indiscriminate killing.

I gather you have not been exposed to a kill zone or established fields of fire. If one is assigned to a perimeter with an established kill zone, one kills any living human being that wanders in, with extreme prejudice.

In addition, bombs dropped from planes, no matter how 'smart', kill whatever is in their blast radius when they land. Pretty indiscriminate.

6. "In war, you kill with extreme prejudice. In self-defense, you are expected to apply logic and intelligence to the situation." Yup. Soldiers are unintelligent illogical killers. Riiiiiight. Someone tries to kill me or someone near me and I can do something about it, the logical thing to do is to act. That means even if I have to kill the guy.

And that's the point. In war, if someone pops up over your perimeter with the wrong uniform on, you dust him. In self-defense, you defend your own life, but you don't just kill the guy for looking all bad at you.

7. Not every military has rules of engagement. It's be nice if all militaries adhered to the geneva convention, but they don't.

The Geneva Accords have to do with the treatment of prisoners of war. Rules of engagement are entirely different. The US, the UK, and all of NATO have RoE. I confess I have no idea if other nations have similar things, but I'd bet they do.

9. Wishful thinking. If I know attack is imminent or I am out numbered, I will attack first. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. If I wait for them, I'm at the disadvantage, if I act first, in many cases I have the advantage due to unanticipated action.

I agree, but you said it yourself. In self-defense IF YOU BELIEVE AN ATTACK IS IMMINENT, you defend yourself first. That means that truly, you are defending yourself. A soldier does not wait for the enemy to threaten them before killing them. If I spot an enemy soldier taking a whiz behind some bushes, I'm going to pot him the back of the head with my M16. There's not really a self-defense analogue to that.

Furthermore, in the war against the Japanese, a war we won, who attacked first? So no, "In war, you attack first." not a valid statement at all. Wars like SD fights have an attacker and a defender. And like a SD fight, often those roles change. The original defender launches a counter attack and the original attacker becomes the defender...

I am referring to the individual soldier. See enemy, shoot enemy. One cannot apply that to self-defense situations. See bad guy, shoot bad guy? No, sadly, one must actually be threatened by bad guy before defending oneself.

If in a SD you do not agress at some point, you will lose. There must eventually be some form of counter attack, even if it is qinna. Furthermore, the OP's original scenario stated that you were being attacked by a knife in an alley. Where I come from you don't try to stab a dude unless you intend on killing him.

Again, applying the scenario of a soldier. A soldier does not defend himself to the extent of neutralizing the immediate threat. He closes with and destroys the enemy. If he injures the enemy soldier to the point where his life is no longer in danger, he can't just run away. In self-defense, that is exactly what the law says you're supposed to do. Guy comes at you in the alley with a knife. If you happen to kill him, well yay you. If you instead disable him somehow and he drops the knife and falls over moaning, you're supposed to make good your escape, not take a prisoner or dispatch him to his personal Valhalla.

The whole point of my treatise is simple. Soldiers are supposed to seek out, close with, and destroy the enemy. That is how wars are fought. Civilians may use similar methods to those of soldiers in some ways, but they do not seek out the enemy, they do not close with the enemy, and they destroy (kill) the enemy (bad guy) only as a last resort, not as the first reaction.

So my conclusion is that no, war is not at all like self-defense. They both can involve hand-to-hand combat and deadly force, but that is all they really share. That's like saying farming is just like being a mad bomber, because they both use tons of fertilizer. They do, but for very different reasons and with very different results.
 

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I'm not a soldier, I'm a Marine. We have brains and use them. We pursue the retreating enemy - just not into ambushes if we can help it.

We will also shoot them in the back if they turn to run away in a stand-up gunfight, which again, not really a good self-defense move.
The pursuit given is generally limited. I concede the part about shooting in the back.

The main point of self-defense is just that - self defense. Two words, emphasis on 'self'. A Marine - or perhaps even a soldier - knows that 'self' is important, but the 'mission' is to be accomplished, and putting one's life in danger is part of that. One is not ordered to 'take that hill' in self-defense.
In the Army I was never ordered to "take a hill." We let the marines do the suicide missions ;) Actually we focused on strategic sites, like airports. Urban firefights can get pretty scary. But no soldier I served with felt as though they were being ordered to do arbitrary things like taking hill 875.

As far as 'playing to win', the goal of self-defense is to play to survive, which is in fact winning. If running away is the least risky means to achieve that end, then that's the winning solution. Once again, not really the military way.
Sure we just call it a strategic advance backwards ;) I get what your saying here though.



If someone is trying to KILL me with a rock from fifty feet away, I am going to analyze that threat and determine that I can a) dodge and b) leave the area and avoid being brained. If an enemy (in a military situation) raises a hand with a rock in it, I'm going to drop that SOB.

A person can try to KILL me in any number of a variety of ways. As a thinking rational human being (remember, I'm a Marine, not a soldier), I have to assign a threat level and respond accordingly.
The OP posted the scenario, use that - knife attack in an alley not rock throwing at 15 meters.



In war, the military is ordered to close with and kill the enemy. There is no dishonor in that, and I say that as a veteran with dust on my boots. I will not discuss that point any further.
I never said there was dishonor, I'm a vet as well. Unlike marines though we never needed an order to tell us to kill the enemy. A small but crucial difference :)

I gather you have not been exposed to a kill zone or established fields of fire. If one is assigned to a perimeter with an established kill zone, one kills any living human being that wanders in, with extreme prejudice.

In addition, bombs dropped from planes, no matter how 'smart', kill whatever is in their blast radius when they land. Pretty indiscriminate.
You gather incorrectly. I served in Macedonia and Afghanistan.



And that's the point. In war, if someone pops up over your perimeter with the wrong uniform on, you dust him. In self-defense, you defend your own life, but you don't just kill the guy for looking all bad at you.
And what about those not in uniforms? Civilian casualties are not appreciated as the media tends to make a big deal out of it. I've known more than one soldier brought up on charges for shooting a civilian. If killing where indiscriminate then no such charges would be made. Explosives like bombs are different because the brass has already decided that some civilian casualties are okay. I agree that in war you SHOULD be able to shoot what ever moves in your direction or within your line of fire BUT urban fighting has changed that mentality.



The Geneva Accords have to do with the treatment of prisoners of war. Rules of engagement are entirely different. The US, the UK, and all of NATO have RoE. I confess I have no idea if other nations have similar things, but I'd bet they do.
Wrong. Check out article 14, it talks about how it is a violation to target medics and hospitals - those ARE rules of warfare. And said article outlines when you can engage medical targets, such as when they are being used as cover for hostiles. Sounds like a rule of engagement to me... So do the Marines not teach their combat personnel these things?



I agree, but you said it yourself. In self-defense IF YOU BELIEVE AN ATTACK IS IMMINENT, you defend yourself first. That means that truly, you are defending yourself. A soldier does not wait for the enemy to threaten them before killing them. If I spot an enemy soldier taking a whiz behind some bushes, I'm going to pot him the back of the head with my M16. There's not really a self-defense analogue to that.
And you said that in self defense you don't attack first, I was just pointing out that was not the case.



I am referring to the individual soldier. See enemy, shoot enemy. One cannot apply that to self-defense situations. See bad guy, shoot bad guy? No, sadly, one must actually be threatened by bad guy before defending oneself.
I concede that point :)



Again, applying the scenario of a soldier. A soldier does not defend himself to the extent of neutralizing the immediate threat. He closes with and destroys the enemy. If he injures the enemy soldier to the point where his life is no longer in danger, he can't just run away. In self-defense, that is exactly what the law says you're supposed to do. Guy comes at you in the alley with a knife. If you happen to kill him, well yay you. If you instead disable him somehow and he drops the knife and falls over moaning, you're supposed to make good your escape, not take a prisoner or dispatch him to his personal Valhalla.
Actually, you are well within your rights to make a citizens arrest at that point and detain him until the cops show. However when I knife is involved chances are that someone will get hurt severely if not fatally.

The whole point of my treatise is simple. Soldiers are supposed to seek out, close with, and destroy the enemy. That is how wars are fought. Civilians may use similar methods to those of soldiers in some ways, but they do not seek out the enemy, they do not close with the enemy, and they destroy (kill) the enemy (bad guy) only as a last resort, not as the first reaction.
True, but it was the mindset of me or them that the OP was talking about, that mindset is the same in war.

So my conclusion is that no, war is not at all like self-defense. They both can involve hand-to-hand combat and deadly force, but that is all they really share. That's like saying farming is just like being a mad bomber, because they both use tons of fertilizer. They do, but for very different reasons and with very different results.
Once again, because you seem to be missing the point entirely, it was not war itself being compared weather the mindset of those involved and those involved in an attack against their life.
 
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Joab

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This depends. Did Uncle X or Friend X just swing, or are they coming at you with the intent to kill? Do they have a weapon or just empty handed? What set them off? Did they seriously hurt another family member before coming at you? These things change a lot.

Being attacked in an alley with a knife is simple, there is no context needed to determine that they are indeed a threat, and deadly force might very well be needed.

It would be a non lethal attack, Uncle John had a few to many and is taking a swing at you, not very well coordinated likely because of his inebriation, time to restrain Uncle John until he sobers up.
 

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This is the assertion of a self defense teacher. He believes, I think correctly, that it makes little difference if your bayoneted in a foreign country or if your knifed in an alley in a big city in the USA, the results are the same-you die. So the mindset when being in a situation like this is that of a combat mindset, willing to do what it takes to destroy the enemy.

I would say in the above scenario he is right. If your dealing with a mugger with a weapon who attacks you, yes, it is prudent to see him as an enemy combatant and you need to do what you need to do to survive. This would be different if your dealing with a drunk uncle who is acting aggressive towards you, in that scenario a different mindset would be appropriate, you wouldn't want to kill your uncle who is using less than lethal force and is acting stupidly due to inebriation. What do you think? All opinions appreciated.

The mindset isn't exactly the same. In war, one is taking an offensive footing.....in the sense that one is actively finding, fixing, engaging and destroying the enemy. The same mindset on the street would have one actively seeking the mugger and killing him.


The reality is that both war and self-defense situations are conflicts.....but they are different levels of conflict. Many concepts apply across both, but they are not the same.
 

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Once again, because you seem to be missing the point entirely, it was not war itself being compared weather the mindset of those involved and those involved in an attack against their life.

The only comparison I can see between 'war' and 'self-defense' is that one gives one's maximum effort to remaining alive when actively engaged in either.

The physical violence involved has completely different entry and exit points and criteria for each scenario.

Therefore, to me, war and self-defense are not really comparable.

That was my entire argument, really.
 

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I see what Bill is saying with his last post, where he gives the 9 examples. IMHO, I dont think he was taking a shot (no pun intended :)) at the military, but instead just giving examples of the differences of the goals of someone in the military vs the average citizen who's trained in the martial arts. While the citizen has the option, depending on the situation, to run or defend with varying degrees ie: joint lock, cause minor injury ie: hitting the face resulting in a broken nose, lost tooth, etc., to worse case scenario which would be death of the bad guy, someone in the military, when faced with someone whos goal is to kill them, chances are the military guy or gal, isn't thinking of much else other than death. Sure taking the enemy captive is an option, but when you have someone firing down on you from a rooftop, I doubt the military guy is thinking anything but taking out the bad guy permanently.
 

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I see what Bill is saying with his last post, where he gives the 9 examples.

Thank you. I'm sorry my examples were so unclear to folks.

Is football like baseball? Well, they both involve team sports, a ball, uniforms, equipment, rules, and the concept of scoring points. So they're alike, right?

That's my point. War and self-defense both can involve the use of deadly force. Other than that, they're quite different.
 
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