Submitted without comment. Wordless salute is comment enough.
It is the classic dilemma posed in law of land warfare classes in the Army.
You are an isolated patrol (in the Special Forces Course the example was a deep penetration raid) and you have a close encounter of the worst kind and are discovered by civilians, invariably women, children or old folks. You know that if you let the civilians go they will tell someone and things will get really ugly really fast for your unit. You can always tie them up and leave them as you move smartly out of the area but eventually they will be found. The last option is fraught with moral and legal difficulties and unpalatable to anyone who isn’t inclined to view war at the small unit level as a Hobbesian race to the bottom.
It isn’t an academic exercise. It happens. And the men who deal with it have to live with the consequences… if they are lucky.
Read the whole thing. You won’t regret it.