Young bloods enrolling in any country’s defense services are put through extensive physical and psychological training to toughen them up, so that the security of the nation is in tough hands. The various defense institutes try vigorously to transform these men and women into robots, but although physically almost transformed, psychologically they still are superior to robots, because they think and differentiate. A very important decision to be taken during any combat operation, is to decide whether to open fire or not and when to open? Mostly people in the commanding positions encounter this question as an integral part of their job. Prior to giving orders of firing to control hostile situations the commander as a human being faces and answers some moral questions to himself. This is the time when he considers some issues like Moral reasoning, Proper leadership, Personal ethics, Constitutional ethics, Moral virtues, Utilitarianism, Justice. In this paper the basic discussion is about as how do these issues govern the decision taken and its consequences?
The Beslan school hostage crisis (also referred to as the Beslan school siege or Beslan massacre) began when a group of Islamic terrorists demanding an end to the Second Chechen War took more than 1,100 schoolchildren and adults hostage on September 1, 2004, at School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia-Alania, an autonomous republic in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation. On the third day of the standoff, a series of explosions shook the school, followed by a fire which engulfed the building and a chaotic gun battle between the hostage-takers and Russian security forces. Ultimately, at least 334 hostages were killed, including 186 children. Hundreds more were wounded or missing in what was called "the worst terrorist attack since September 11, (Wikipedia). The handling of the siege by Vladimir Putin's administration was criticized by a number of observers and grassroots organizations, Criticism, including by Beslan residents (the survivors and the relatives of the victims), centered on the allegations that the storming of the school was ruthless, citing the confirmed use of heavy weapons, such as RPO flamethrowers and tank guns. Human Rights activists say that at least 80 percent of the hostages were killed by indiscriminate Russian fire.
The military of any country often face such incidents of hostile situations. While facing such situations the first and foremost question that comes to ones mind is: when to fire and when to not. "It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners". Albert Camus. This was rightly said by a great man. As civilized human beings we always have a tendency of avoiding unnecessary firing and unwanted bloodshed, but circumstances always compel man to do what he loathes. As a person in the commanding post of the military or a force, his chief objective while controlling any hostile situation is to curb the hostility with minimum violence, bloodshed and loss of life and property. Even though a commanding officer desires to establish control over the situation by non-violence, the hostility displayed by the counterpart invites violence. Now the most important decision is entrusted in the hands of the man giving orders, the question to be decided on is: "if fire is to be opened, what should be the deciding and compelling need to do so", and there should be enough reasons to support the decision and its cause alike. When a commanding officer gives order to fire or use any arms and ammunition to subdue a hostile