This book examines the role of military virtues in today's armed forces. -/- Although long-established military virtues, such as honor, courage and loyalty, are what most armed forces today still use as guiding principles in an effort to enhance the moral behavior of soldiers, much depends on whether the military virtues adhered to by these militaries suit a particular mission or military operation. Clearly, the beneficiaries of these military virtues are the soldiers themselves, fellow-soldiers, and (...)military organizations, yet there is little that regulates the behavior of soldiers towards civilian populations. As a result, troops trained for combat in today's missions sometimes experience difficulty in adjusting to the less aggressive ways of working needed to win the hearts and minds of local populations after major combat is over. It can be argued that today's missions call for virtues that are more inclusive than the traditional ones, which are mainly about enhancing military effectiveness, but a convincing case can be made that a lot can already be won by interpreting these traditional virtues in different ways. -/- This volume offers an integrated approach to the main traditional virtues, exploring their possible relevance and proposing new ways of interpretation that are more in line with the military tasks of the 21st century. -/- The book will be of much interest to students of militaryethics, philosophy, and war and conflict in general. (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 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)
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)
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)
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)
Humanitarian operations may pose challenges to which armed forces prepared for warfighting seem rather ill-equipped. It is the aim of this article to examine in what way militaryethics should be adapted to humanitarian tasks. Two ideal types of militaryethics are defined here: warfighting and humanitarian. The warfighting ethic is supposed to maximise the utility of the military in war and combat and to that end utilises the virtues of loyalty and honour. In contrast, (...) humanitarian obligations require to a larger extent the development of personal integrity and an ability to follow one’s own conscience. The adaptation of militaryethics is demonstrated in the case studies of the UK armed forces and the German Bundeswehr. Whereas the moral code of the UK armed forces remains anchored in the principles of the warfighting ethic, the case of the Bundeswehr presents a military ethic closely approximating the humanitarian ideal type. (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.
ABSTRACTIn this article, I examine the extent to which military officers are morally responsible for the actions of others by virtue of shared membership in various groups. I argue that career military officers share membership in morally relevant groups that include their branch of service, Department of Defense and the entire Executive Branch of Government, and I outline the circumstances under which career officers bear moral culpability for the actions of members of this group. A number of implications (...) arise from these findings. The first and most important is that military officers have an interest in ensuring the moral rectitude of government agents specifically as it pertains to their official capacities. Additionally, military officers have a duty not only to be informed about problematic government policies but also to educate themselves on the pertinent legal jurisprudence or ethical considerations. Finally, the Constitutional Paradigm of MilitaryEthics may be an insufficient guide for the part.. (shrink)
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)
Three methods for ethics instruction are used in Taiwanese military education: the ‘bag-of-virtues’, value-clarification and virtue-ethics methods. This article explains, analyzes and discusses each of these, thereby giving an introduction to how militaryethics is taught – and thought of – within the Taiwanese military system. Recommendations are given for how to improve the parts of the system that do not seem to live up to the stated intentions.
In addition to the traditional reliance on rules and codes in regulating the conduct of military personnel, most of today’s militaries put their money on character building in trying to make their soldiers virtuous. Especially in recent years it has time and again been argued that virtue ethics, with its emphasis on character building, provides a better basis for militaryethics than deontological ethics or utilitarian ethics. Although virtue ethics comes in many varieties (...) these days, in many texts on militaryethics dealing with the subject of military virtues the Aristotelian view on virtues is still pivotal. Developing virtues is by some authors seen as the best way to prevent misconduct by military personnel, it being considered superior to rules or codes of conduct imposed from above. The main argument these authors offer is that these solutions are impotent when no one is around, and lack the flexibility often thought necessary in today’s world. Finally, rules and codes try to condition behavior, leaving less room for personal integrity. At first sight, then, there is a great deal to say in favor of virtue ethics as being the best way of enhancing the chances of soldiers behaving morally. -/- However, this preference for steering conduct by means of promoting certain desirable dispositions is not without any problems that, as it stands, are hardly ever addressed. To begin with, there are a few practical concerns. For instance, even if we assume that military virtues can assist military personnel to do their work in a morally sound manner, it is still not clear to what extent virtues can, in fact, be taught to them. It is an assumption of virtue ethics that they can, but is this really the case? And if so, how should they be taught? – virtues are supposedly developed by practicing them, yet how much room is there for practicing virtues in for instance the ethics education as followed in military academies and school battalions? -/- Secondly, it appears that the traditional military virtues, such as honor, loyalty, courage, and obedience, are, especially in their common interpretation, mainly beneficial to colleagues and the organization, not so much to the local population of the countries military personnel are deployed to. Changes in the military’s wider environment have led to a shift from traditional of self-defense tasks to new, more complex tasks, and especially in today’s missions one could expect that the proper virtues are not necessarily solely the more martial ones. (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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
Although most styles of militaryethics are hybrids that draw on multiple ethical theories, they are usually based primarily on the model of Aristotelian virtue ethics. Virtue ethics is well-suited for regulating the conduct of soldiers who have to make quick decisions on the battlefield, but its applicability to military personnel is threatened by the growing use of unmanned weapon systems. These weapons disrupt virtue ethics’ institutional and cultural basis by changing what it means (...) to display virtue and transforming the roles soldiers perform and the nature of the military profession itself. I argue that in light of these challenges to virtue ethics, at least as it is traditionally understood within the armed forces, soldiers operating unmanned weapons require a more heavily rule-based approach to militaryethics. (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.].