‘Such sensibility is the sensibility of a lady who faints when she sees a calf being killed’ (Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace). My piece for Dutch daily Trouw.
Recent revelations of war crimes committed by international troops in Afghanistan have shaken the Netherlands and Australia.
In an op-ed for Trouw, I write of the need for a better understanding of war in Western societies. War is messy, chaotic and unpredictable, the Prussian strategist Carl von Clausewitz reminds us.
The messyness makes the line between good and evil hard to draw, and countries that are willing to deploy their troops to a conflict need to be willing to face the brutal reality of war.