Buried Histories of Indian Democracy
I knew I was carrying out orders, and would hate to do such a thing if I had my way. My soldiers also started torching other buildings, and the whole place was soon ablaze. There was absolute confusion everywhere. Women were wailing and shouting and cursing. Children were frightened and cried. Young boys and girls held hands and looked at their burning village with a stupefied expression on their faces.
'How will our century go down in history? Will it be under the name of the 'Age of the Camps', of flesh turning cancerous?
In the more honest, if less palatable for public consumption, 'cost-benefit approach', counterinsurgency must focus on making the costs, including starvation, torture and other brutal forms of pacification, far higher than any benefit the public gains from supporting the guerillas. At best, as Shafer points out, this coercive approach rests on a morality of consequences.