We tend to shun the concept of the willing killer because it offends our kinder sensibilities, but a controlled psychopath is an asset on the killing fields. Those who possess such a temperament are natural killers and many have served this country well. The problem lies in identifying these individuals and positioning them where they can be most effective.
A natural killer is a person who has a predisposition to kill—he enjoys combat and feels little or no remorse about killing the enemy. These men have existed throughout the history of warfare, and their feats have often been hailed as heroic. They constitute less than 4 percent of the force, yet some studies show that they do almost half of the killing.
“My name is Andy McNab and I’m a psychopath.” Author of Bravo Two Zero, the story of his time as part of an eight-man Special Forces operation behind enemy lines in Iraq during the first Gulf War. “For me, I realize the people I’ve killed are human beings,” he says. “But I think, you know, So what? It’s all part of the game.“