Seems reasonable the way you put it. Maybe your used to a good unit or maybe that's more widespread than I realize. But the structure is one of command and thus orders. What happens if someone disobeys a direct order?
There are many examples of what I talk about here form the first world war and the trenches, wow, what a mess. To what I view on the news in the middle east, soldiers firing on civilians and many who don't want to but are under orders.
In the police force for example a good friend of mine was sent years ago because of his size and capability up north to help deal with the minors strike in the Thatcher years. The things they were ordered to do took him a little while to recover from.
The fact is that when someone in charge isn't so wise then the subordinates generally have to follow the orders for that is all part and parcel of command structure, without which it breaks down. Ther'es not many who would stand up to and go against bad orders.
Once again it comes down to those in charge in such structures. Wiser people in charge then things pan out as you describe. Arrogant control freaks in charge, mmm, trouble and sheep.
Sure those things happen and we tend to hear about the things that go bad in the news and not so much about the things that go right.
WWI was essentially a mess because of changes in technology. Barbed wire, machine guns, and tanks to be specific. These three things essentially forced a change in tactics which not one military was really prepared to deal with, so yes, you had some very bad decision making going on that led to the trench warfare quagmire that developed.
Can you give me a specific instance in which soldiers have been given lawful orders to fire on peaceful citizens? In fact, all Soldiers under the Geneva Convention are bound to disobey such unlawful orders under severe penalty.
Have you ever been in the Military? You don't seem to understand Military Law and the Geneva Convention. It is important to understand these things.
Are there breakdowns in the system? yes of course, Abu Ghrab is a good example.
Do we all military and civilian have to obey "orders" and laws that we don't agree with? Yes. I don't like paying taxes to a State I am not even living in. I don't like the speed limits on some of the roads I drive on. I don't like the way my Grocery Store ques lines. I don't like many of the decisons my elected officials make. I see very little difference really in the rights and responsibilities that ANY citizen has in most of the free world.
I think a whole TV Series as done on bosses that make stupid decisions...what is that show? Office. How is this any different than the dumb decisions that a Military leader makes over a civilian boss? Sure the consequences may be different and stakes may be higher in many instances, but non of us are really above having to listen to the stupid rules that someone imposes on us that has power over us.