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I don't think the military are mindless drones, but yes, it would surprise me to see large-scale defection because history is littered with incidences of military being used successfully to repress citizen populations. This happens, in my opinion, for two reasons: 1. Militaries spend a lot of time breaking down and rebuilding recruits into order-following killing machines. 2. Target populations are demonized to the point that your neighbors/friends can be made to look enough like an enemy "other". Add groupthink to that and you've got a deadly situation that's not really a moral failing on the part of the soldier but a corruption of their motives by propaganda.

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