Question: If we are at war, in defending our country, as a Buddhist conscripted soldier, should we kill enemies charging towards us, or just let them overrun us?
Answer: In this situation on defence, it is not about just about Person A (you) versus Person B (enemy); it is about preventing Person B from possibly killing many more soldiers and civilians upon successful offense. In the case that there is no other way to prevent this, Person B has to be ‘taken out’ for the sake of saving many. However, ‘taking out’ does not have to involve killing.
For example, Person B’s foot could be shot to disable him for a while, which renders him ineffective as an attacker. There should be minimal harm with killing as the absolute last resort. An example of this is the case of the Buddha on the Bodhisattva path as a compassionate captain, who killed a mass-murderer to be to save 500.
The Compassionate Captain’s Skilful Means
Should I Support Weapon Creation?