An Introduction to Military Ethics: A Reference Handbook by Bill Rhodes

By Bill Rhodes

An creation to army Ethics: A Reference guide offers the philosophical and conceptual foundations of army ethics, providing a good beginning for exploration and dialogue of those matters. It focuses first at the 2,500-year legacy of the "just conflict idea" and its software via background. It then strikes to the applying of that culture within the glossy period, displaying how acts of terrorism by way of nonstate members require a brand new idea and state of mind approximately while and the way armed strength may be justifiably hired. extra, the writer analyzes how new theories may well modify the basic id of conventional protective army forces. The booklet additionally addresses peacetime moral concerns, comparable to gender integration and the position of faith within the army. The ebook is vital examining for army officials and scholars, in addition to these policymakers who confront judgements approximately how you can installation army strength in the course of the warfare on Terror.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Military Ethics: A Reference Handbook (Contemporary Military, Strategic, and Security Issues)

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In other words, intending to kill in defense of the self would not be justified unless intending to kill while defending the self was a kind of public good. If so, then it is the soldier’s acting on behalf of the community that justifies the intent to kill. His own well-being does not justify the intent to kill, but the well-being of others does. And in any case, one is never justified in killing from hatred or animosity. The justification for the killing lies in its detachment from private conscience and its attachment to the public good.

It is interesting that Suarez defends this justification on the grounds of natural law. 54 Ordinary military members are provided ethical guidelines as well. 55 Likewise, Suarez forbids intentionally harming innocent persons. He appreciates, however, that innocent people are sometime harmed unintentionally in war, and he appeals to double effect to justify their deaths. 56 The key points here are necessity and intention. The deaths of the innocent are foreseen but not intended; those causing the innocent deaths are justified in doing so if there is no other way to achieve victory.

The military member’s role may also be in tension with his role as a citizen. Most persons in the military service of a state are first citizens of that state. As military members they are, of course, obligated to uphold the policies of their state and to obey lawful orders. As citizens, they are free to disagree with their state’s policies. History teaches that more than a few soldiers have died fighting wars that they believed were mistaken. Winning and Conduct in War Winning a just war may require using unjust means.

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