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The Impact of War as Portrayed in the Lone Survivor

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This paper will talk about war, reality of violence, its impact or effects on the community covering the small up to large scale of the society. Also, my choice of film to give a reflection towards war that resulted to violence, and to jot down the consequence that affects the life of the community where war took in.

Violence has a broad meaning that comprised many categories, examples are physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, cultural and many more (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador). But, in a general term, violence is defined as used of physical force that intends to injure, kill, destroy, abuse, damage and form of aggression towards other or oneself. Moreover, as defined by WHO or World Health Organization it is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.

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War is a state of armed conflict between states, government, societies, rebels, terrorist, mercenaries, insurgents, and militias. This generally involves the use of weapons, military and soldiers of a state against another states or other party. Like violence, there are also types of wars, the following are Civil War, Wars between States, Guerrilla Warfare, Total War, Limited War, Trench Warfare, Attrition Warfare, Conventional Warfare, Air Warfare, and Naval Warfare. But I think the most common war can be War between States.

I have defined the definition of War and Violence, consequently there are effects of the aftermath, those can be mass destruction of cities and communities, there’s also a long lasting effect such as on country’s economy in means of rebuilding the infrastructures, payment for the weapons used providing public health, and social order. Furthermore, I will discuss the film of my choice and how this film relevant to the topic of war or violence.

The film that I have chosen is the Lone Survivor, this movie is based on a true story, written in a book by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson. The Lone Survivor, tells the narration of the story of Luttrell’s survival in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province, Luttrell was the only survivor among the members of Operation Red Wings, Luttrell is an elite member of the United States Naval Special Warfare Unit or also known as Navy SEAL’s. There are four Navy SEAL’s that are deploy out on a mission to Afghanistan’s Kunar Province, their goal was the disruption of anti-coalition, militia activity in the region of Kunar in order to further aid the stabilization efforts of the region. As part of the mission the four Navy SEAL’s are to surveil in order to establish the location of the Taliban Commander named Ahmad Shah, also they have the order to capture and kill the Taliban Commander. Ahmad Shah is believed to be responsible to the death of over twenty United States Marine, that lead for the four Navy SEAL’s mission to kill Ahmad Shah.

The mission took place deep inside the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan, the four members of Navy SEAL’s are Marcus Luttrell, Danny Dietz, Matthew Axelson, and Michael Murphy were dropped off via helicopters a few miles away from the village of Shah and his army ranging more or less a hundred of Taliban fighters. The four travelled by foot across the mountain then settled to survey and observed the village. Not long after the insertion of the four Navy SEAL’s the mission was compromised by the three goat herders, leaving the four with no choice but came out of their hidden positions and detained the three goat herders, now the team faced a difficult decision to make, either they kill the locals or free them. Whatever their decision will be it will be bound with consequences. Being unsure of what to do, Dietz, the communication operator decided to contact back the head quarters in good faith of having an order whether to kill or not to kill the herders but unfortunately due to a weak signal they cannot get in touch with them.

The four started to debate on what to do, Axelson wants to kill them but Luttrell is against the idea, although Dietz agrees on Axelson, while Murphy, their leader kept quiet and continues to listen to the three’s bickering, I really can’t blame Murphy, as what he is about to decide is a tough call it is even an impossible decision to make. However, he has to decided to terminate the mission since it is already compromised and let go the goat herders, and move locations to reassess their options, he ordered Dietz to contact back the headquarters, that he is extracting the mission, deciding to go home, leaving the three to say “roger that sir”.

While, waiting for the helicopter that will take them back to the headquarters, suddenly there are villagers that are surrounding them, there are more than thrice of their number making them outnumbered. Their leader, Murphy whispered to them that they are about to get contact, I analyzed Murphy’s statement as worst is about to come so they have to be prepared for whatever will happen to them. A minute later, shots begun to fly towards their direction and them shooting back as their only defense since as mentioned they are outnumbered. As the helicopter came, the four men’s ultimate goal now is to reach where the helicopter will land, but the helicopter was shoot down by the Taliban’s army.

There are misfortunate events that happens in our life just like this mission, during the exchange of fires the Taliban army has successfully killed the three Navy SEAL soldier but fortunately left one survivor and that is Luttrell. Luttrell was discovered by a local Pashtun Villager and took him home, the villagers of Pashtun protected Luttrell from the Talibans’, and later on Luttrell was then rescued by the American Soldiers. I cannot imagine what has Luttrell been through, losing three brothers in a battle and leaving him as the only survivor, I am sure that pain is an understatement, but there is a saying that “life must go on” and Luttrell’s life did move forward, he was able to write the story of their mission.

In conclusion, the relevance of this film from the issues or problems from the handout of dismantling the culture of war is Wars: cycle of violence and counter-violence, as mentioned Navy SEAL’s are deployed on a mission to kill Ahmad Shah in return the sent army’s are killed then the cycle goes on. The hopeful action for this issue or problem is through disarming groups and talk in peace, pursuing a diplomatic resolution of crises instead of going back to cycle of violence. Also, to avoid its consequences like the impact on the community and the locals, like in the film the Pashtun Villagers become a collateral damage as they protect Luttrell from the Taliban’s, so it is safe to say that all dispute must be talk out in a peace manner. 

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