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He is moving in for the kill.   His offensive sword is raised for the attack. 
But equally important is his shield. This piece of defensive equipment equipment is there to protect HIM. It allows him to carry out his offensive actions. He would never enter a battle, or a war, without that defensive shield.
Yes it is defence, but it is NOT defending civilians. It is defending the warrior. It is defending his ability to wield that sword.
Without the shield he would be dead and thus unable to kill.
Things havenít changed much over the centuries.

Slideshow: "CANSEC 2009: Fuelling wars around the world"

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