The approach here is even-handed, revealing how soldiers can be smart and heroic, as well as misguided and out-of-control. The trenchant idea seems to be that of the Pandora’s Box. If you release men with guns into an untamed environment, where danger is everywhere, each will respond in his own way. Some will find and adhere to a strong moral compass. Others will degenerate into sadistic violence.
That destruction comes about from a moral failure, the failure to contextualize “the enemy” as human, and understand the enemy on human terms. Specifically, if we use our might just to take resources from others, or to argue for the assertion of our ideology in someone else’s land, we are in violation of our own cherished beliefs and values. We say “don’t tread on me,” but if someone else has what we want, we tread on them with the greatest military machine in history.