The Ethics of Arming Rebels

Ethics and International Affairs 29 (4):455-471 (2015)

Despite the popularity of arming rebels as a foreign policy option, there is very little, if any, detailed engagement with the ethical issues surrounding the practice. There is a growing literature on the ethical issues surrounding civil wars and, more specifically, the conditions for engaging in just rebellion; but the focus of this literature is largely on the question of the justifiability of the rebels themselves in engaging in civil war and their conduct when doing so, rather than the permissibility of the arming of rebels by other agents. It is precisely this issue that I want to address here. Overall, I argue that the process should be generally eschewed. More specifically, this article seeks to establish that arming rebels is generally impermissible and only exceptionally morally permissible. The former, far more restrictive claim will be established in the first part of the article. The latter, more permissive claim will be established in the second part of the article.
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DOI 10.1017/s089267941500043x
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References found in this work BETA

The Ethics of Killing in War.Jeff McMahan - 2004 - Ethics 114 (4):693-733.
Proportionality in the Morality of War.Thomas Hurka - 2005 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (1):34-66.
The Responsibility Dilemma for Killing in War: A Review Essay.Seth Lazar - 2010 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 38 (2):180-213.
The Ethics of Killing in War.Jeff McMahan - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (1):693-733.

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Citations of this work BETA

Covert Positive Incentives as an Alternative to War.James Pattison - 2018 - Ethics and International Affairs 32 (3):293-303.

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