25. Super Soldiers Have No Fears, But Real Soldiers Have Plenty
John Keegan’s positive and negative motivators of inducement and coercion could use a helping hand. Thus, the motivator of narcosis, or chemical motivation. War is hard work, and to even get one’s soldiers close enough to the enemy to fight it out often involved weeks or months of tedious and arduous marches from hither to yon. Throughout, the warriors have to withstand the elements, endure stints of thirst and hunger, and suffer other deprivations. On top of that, they have to cope with the hopelessness of knowing that there is something precious they could do about it all.
Then, when the enemy was finally in sight, there came the doubts and fears that real soldiers – as opposed to super-soldiers of fiction – have to deal with. How will the battle go? Will the warrior live? Will he die? Will he get wounded? How bad a wound? Will he get maimed for life? Will his favorite comrades live, or die, or get maimed? And how will he act in the moment of truth? Will he face the enemy bravely, and earn or retain the respect of his peers? Will he turn cowardly and let his comrades down? Historically, soldiers have often turned to alcohol and drugs to chase away – or at least dull – such concerns.