Introduction : Ethics in the real world -- An overview of applied ethics for the military -- Just war thinking (JWT) in historical perspective -- Philosophical foundations of militaryethics -- Jus ad bellum today -- Jus in bello today -- Adapting to contemporary challenges -- Cultural ethical issues -- Modern military identity.
Utilitarianism is the strand of moral philosophy that holds that judgment of whether an act is morally right or wrong, hence whether it ought to be done or not, is primarily based upon the foreseen consequences of the act in question. It has a bad reputation in militaryethics because it would supposedly make military expedience override all other concerns. Given that the utilitarian credo of the greatest happiness for the greatest number is in fact agent-neutral, meaning (...) that the consequences to everyone should weigh equally, this critique of utilitarianism is not entirely fair. By focusing on some anomalies in both the principle of double effect and in our tendency to give priority to the interests of those who are near and dear to us, this article argues that there is something to be said for a military ethic that attaches less weight to intentions, and more to the consequences. (shrink)
The present paper is devoted to a detailed presentation of a new MilitaryEthics doctrine of fighting terror. It is proposed as an extension of the classical Just War Theory, which has been meant to apply to ordinary international conflicts. Since the conditions of a fight against terror are essentially different from the conditions that are assumed to hold in the classical war (military) paradigm or in the law enforcement (police) paradigm, a third model is needed. The (...) paper proposes such a model in the form of principles that should govern the activity of a democratic state when faced with terror. Eleven principle are proposed. Two are on the level of the state, including the Principle of Self-Defense Duty. Six are related to military preventive acts against activities of terror, including new formulations of a Principle of Military Necessity, a Principle of Distinction, and a Principle of Military Proportionality. Principles of Low Probabilities, Time Span Considerations and Professional Understanding are also included. Finally, three principles that are related to consciousness-directed activities against terror are added: a Principle of Permanent Notice, a Principle of Compensation, and a Principle of Operational Deterrence. The exposition of the principles is accompanied by arguments about their moral justification. The doctrine has been developed on the background of the IDF fight against acts and activities of terror performed by Palestinian individuals and organizations. (shrink)
We are grateful to Professors Nick Fotion, Bashshar Haydar and David L. Perry for their illuminating discussions of our paper, ?Militaryethics of fighting terror: An Israeli perspective?, published in the present issue of the Journal of MilitaryEthics. We also thank the editors of the Journal for allowing us to add the present response. Professors Fotion, Haydar and Perry raise many significant issues. We will, however, presently address just a few of them, leaving the discussion (...) of the other interesting points to other occasions. (shrink)
(2005). George R. Lucas, Jr. & W. Rick Rubel's (Eds) Ethics and the Military Profession: The Moral Foundations of Leadership and Case Studies in MilitaryEthics. Journal of MilitaryEthics: Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 214-219. doi: 10.1080/15027570500197453.
The military's purpose centrally includes fighting its nation's wars, serving as the nation's sword. The dominant approach to militaryethics today, which I will call the ?sword approach?, focuses on this purpose and builds an ethic out of the requirements the purpose imposes on soldiers. Yet recently philosophers such as Shannon French and Nancy Sherman have developed an alternative that I will call the ?shield approach?, which focuses on articulating a warrior code as a moral shield that (...) can safeguard soldiers? humanity through the stresses and losses of war. Arguably, the sword approach is, if necessary, insufficient: the claims of the shield approach must be taken into account. It may seem that a military ethicist could simply employ both approaches in parallel. I will show, however, that the real possibility of conflict between the two approaches, due to their disparity of focus, calls for a more careful reconciliation. I will argue that conceiving military service as a practice in Alasdair MacIntyre's sense makes possible the integration of the central claims of the sword and shield approaches into one coherent and comprehensive military ethic. (shrink)
If one of the most important aims of education on militaryethics is to strengthen moral competence, we argue that it is important to base ethics education on virtue ethics, the Socratic attitude and the process of ?living learning?. This article illustrates this position by means of the example of a ?train the trainer? course on militaryethics for Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs), which is developed at the Netherlands Defence Academy, and uses a number of (...) examples both from its structure and from experiences from its actual use. (shrink)
Ethical reflections on military robotics can be enriched by a better understanding of the nature and role of these technologies and by putting robotics into context in various ways. Discussing a range of ethical questions, this paper challenges the prevalent assumptions that military robotics is about military technology as a mere means to an end, about single killer machines, and about “military” developments. It recommends that ethics of robotics attend to how military technology changes (...) our aims, concern itself not only with individual robots but also and especially with networks and swarms, and adapt its conceptions of responsibility to the rise of such cloudy and unpredictable systems, which rely on decentralized control and buzz across many spheres of human activity. (shrink)
United States military medical ethics evolved during its involvement in two recent wars, Gulf War I (1990–1991) and the War on Terror (2001–). Norms of conduct for military clinicians with regard to the treatment of prisoners of war and the administration of non-therapeutic bioactive agents to soldiers were set aside because of the sense of being in a ‘new kind of war’. Concurrently, the use of radioactive metal in weaponry and the ability to measure the health consequences (...) of trade embargos on vulnerable civilians occasioned new concerns about the health effects of war on soldiers, their offspring, and civilians living on battlefields. Civilian medical societies and medical ethicists fitfully engaged the evolving nature of the medical ethics issues and policy changes during these wars. Medical codes of professionalism have not been substantively updated and procedures for accountability for new kinds of abuses of medical ethics are not established. Looking to the future, medicine and medical ethics have not articulated a vision for an ongoing military-civilian dialogue to ensure that standards of medical ethics do not evolve simply in accord with military exigency. (shrink)
Medical ethics prohibits caregivers from discriminating and providing preferential care to their compatriots and comrades. In military medicine, particularly during war and when resources may be scarce, ethical principles may dictate priority care for compatriot soldiers. The principle of nondiscrimination is central to utilitarian and deontological theories of justice, but communitarianism and the ethics of care and friendship stipulate a different set of duties for community members, friends, and family. Similar duties exist among the small cohesive groups (...) that typify many military units. When members of these groups require medical care, there are sometimes moral grounds to treat compatriot soldiers ahead of enemy or allied soldiers regardless of the severity of their respective wounds. (shrink)
Abstract [Remarks at the 10th-anniversary conference for the Journal of MilitaryEthics, Oslo, Norway, 9 September 2011, arranged by the journal in collaboration with the Norwegian Defence University College, the Peace Research Institute Oslo, and Bj?rknes College.].
It is hard to overstate the importance that the military places on teaching its soldiers to be leaders of character. Indeed, the military has developed a sophisticated Aristotelian understanding of what it means to be a leader of character, an understanding in which the virtues of a soldier are defined by the practice of fighting wars successfully. Putting that theoretical model to work?that is, developing soldiers who possess the right virtues?requires Socratic dialogue between instructors and students. Unfortunately, the (...) theory of Socratic dialogue often clashes with the practice of military institutions as trainers of soldiers. The belief that one must train soldiers to be virtuous can and often does result in an atmosphere in which instructors present the dictates of morality as revealed truth, an atmosphere which leads to knee-jerk moral certainty and which actively discourages open discussion of ethics. Putting theory into practice, then, requires that an institution reject the training mentality in favor of Socratic inquiry. The author suggests two strategies for achieving that goal: giving philosophers a greater role in designing ethics curriculum and incorporating civilian academics into military institutions more effectively. (shrink)
The purpose of the present document is to briefly present principles that constitute a new doctrine within the sphere of MilitaryEthics: The Just War Doctrine of Fighting Terror.The doctrine has been developed by a team we have headed at the Israel Defense Force (IDF) College of National Defense. However, the work has been done on the general levels of moral, ethical and legal considerations that should guide a democratic state when it faces terrorist activities committed against its (...) citizens. Accordingly, the proposed principles are meant to be justified and practically applicable under any parallel circumstances. Moreover, those principles are intended to be universal in the sense that the justification of none of them rests on any particular stance with respect to the desired solution of the conflict under consideration. (shrink)
Asa Kasher and Amos Yadlin’s article is a penetrating and well argued presentation of the Israeli perspective on the militaryethics of terror. It does not claim to be official Israeli policy. Yet, its philosophic theoretical exposition is evident in the Israeli practice of fighting terror. On this basis it is a practical guide to action inspired by a lucid, coherent and compelling theoretical argumentation.
In this study, I examined what channels of socialization influence the moral behavior of cadets. We conducted a regression analysis of the effects of parents' attitudes to moral education, the standard and potential curriculum of schools, peer groups, and communication media on individual ethics and discipline using 399 sample participants. The participants were recruited through a questionnaire survey on cadets from academy of military, naval, and air force, and four-year based students from R.O.C. National Defense University. The analysis (...) results showed that the cultivation of morality among cadets was directly influenced by the school's potential curriculum (i.e., intern cadres and officers in company) and their parents' attitudes to moral education during early childhood. The results also indicated that the influence of teaching by example was more significant than that of teaching by precept. (shrink)
This book analyses the influences of ideas of honor on the causes, conduct, and endings of wars from Ancient Greece through to the present-day war in Iraq. It does this through a series of historical case studies. In the process, it highlights both the differences and the similarities between the various eras under study, and draws conclusions about the relevance of honor to war in the modern era. Each chapter looks at a particular period in history and is divided into (...) nine sections: Honor and virtue in the relevant period; Honor and the causes of war; Honor as a motivation for fighting; Honors and rewards; Death and honor; Honor and the conduct of war; Honor and the enemy; Honor and the ending of wars; Women and honor. The book makes use of original archival research and interviews with serving military officers, as well as secondary source material. Its subject will be of interest not merely to students of military history, militaryethics, security studies and international relations, and anthropology/sociology/philosophy/history of ideas. (shrink)
We live in a world of rapidly advancing, revolutionary technologies that are not just reshaping our world and wars, but also creating a host of ethical questions that must be dealt with. But in trying to answer them, we must also explore why exactly is it so hard to have effective discussions about ethics, technology, and war in the first place? This article delves into the all-too-rarely discussed underlying issues that challenge the field of ethics when it comes (...) to talking about war, weapons, and moral conduct. These issues include the difficulty of communicating across fields; the complexity of real world dilemmas versus the seminar room and laboratory; the magnified role that money and funding sources play in shaping not just who gets to talk, but what they research; cross-cultural differences; the growing role of geographic and temporal distance issues; suspicion of the actual value of law and ethics in a harsh realm like war; and a growing suspicion of science itself. If we hope better to address our growing ethical concerns, we must face up to these underlying issues as well. (shrink)
In addition to a person's character and training, the organization's ethical work climate (EWC) can assess how the organization influences an individual's ethical decision-making process by examining the individuals' perception of "what is the right thing to do" in a particular organizational environment. Relatively little research has explored which EWCs dominate military units and the impact of organizational role and environmental uncertainty on individuals in the military and their ethical decision making. In this study, we examined the predominant (...) EWCs among military units and found that certain organizational influences are associated with the specific EWCs. Based on these discoveries, we discuss the implications of EWC studies and the influence of organizational role and environmental uncertainty for researchers, as well as military leaders. (shrink)