Re: What is "combat"?
Kit, well you've hit upon the main issue I struggle with constantly. Anyway, I like to think I am on the path of the bodhisattva. I will have to listen to the link you sent today.
I think for us, it is important to be mindful. I came to grips with it when I realized that I should not seek violence, but need to do my best to ensure that I and the soldiers that I represent are as best trained as possible to receive violence. The better trained they are, the better more choices they have to engage in acts of combat skillfully. In doing so, hopefully I can engage mindfully with compassion, which should (hopefully) lessen the amount of conflict and harm in the world.
It definitely is a tricky area wrought with two sides of the coin. That is, it is easy to see how one also might see me as a enabler of violence. For another, staying away from my profession might be the best spiritual path. Both would be right, I believe.
Ironically, I think it has strengthened me as a warrior in many ways.
You see things like Abu Grahab happening, and you want to make sure that you train people to be strong and compassionate, and to make the right choices. That is what shows me that there is room in the military for people with a strong spiritual base to help others alleviate suffering, not create more!