In the book Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons, it is argued that killing civilians does not lead to a military defeat. That is, if one wants to defeat an enemy, one has to defeat the military of the enemy. What follows from this? Well, it could be the end of all militaries. Consider the following argument:
- The military does not function to protect civilian populations because killing or harming civilian populations does not lead to a military defeat.
- The military-to-military combat is the most effective form of defeating an enemy.
- Thus, militaries really only exist to combat one another. Civilians don’t need them.
- From 3, military-to-military combat serves no purpose other than defeating another military.
- We should not have militaries because they serve no purpose other than defeating another military.
This is an imperfect argument, but it seems to follow from the fact that killing civilians does not lead to military defeat.