Safe Haven…

“The loneliness of command can also reveal a more ingrained, deep‐rooted weakness in soldiers’ make‐up. Psychologists such as Prof. N. Dixon suggest that the military offers a safe haven to individuals prone to anxieties such as fear of failure, need for approval and deafness to unpalatable information. Not until the position of ultimate responsibility is reached are such weaknesses exposed. Moreover, the problems can be compounded by the military’s recourse to collective decision‐making. ‘Group‐think,’ according to Dixon, can actually accentuate the weaknesses in a commander. It can serve to rationalise away items of disturbing information and create an illusion of invulnerability.”

Major A. Foster, RA, The Mind of the Soldier; His Most Important Weapon?, Australian Defence Force Journal, No.91, November/December 1991.

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