Operational Ethics: Just War and Implications for Contemporary American Warfare
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This monograph provides a framework for considering the moral conduct of American warfare with particular emphasis on operational targeting. It does not recommend supplanting, altering, or otherwise improving current laws of war, domestic or international. This monograph is merely a denkschrift through which the author hopes to inspire discussions on operational ethics among professional officers and civilian proponents of military developments. In light of the current administrations doctrine of preemptive military force to defeat terrorist organizations and states that promote terrorism or develop weapons of mass destruction, the subject of this monograph becomes increasingly important, for the doctrine of preemption may presuppose a fundamental alteration of societies and cultures toward the development of liberal democracies. In the wake of decisive military victory, the transition phase is strongly impacted by perceptions of U.S. warfighting conduct. Therefore, contemporary American-style warfare requires continuous evaluation to ensure that the manner in which the U.S. fights reflects the values of just war tradition, values that are consistent with the laws of war and with American ideals. The U.S., perhaps more than any other country, takes tremendous steps in minimizing collateral damage and non-combatant casualties while treating its adversarys military humanely when defeated. This point is abundantly evident by technological innovations that improve accuracy of weapons, the emphasis placed on legal counsel during operations, and the indoctrination of the force.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics