Maintaining the Ethical Advantage in Counterinsurgency Operations
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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To conduct effective operations that link tactical victories with achieving strategic goals, a Joint Task Force JTF commander should maintain ethical considerations at the forefront of all leadership, planning, and execution efforts to ensure ultimate success. Some experts characterize the enemys strategy as a global insurgency. Others debate whether waging war against a technique -- terrorism -- constitutes sound strategy. Proper characterization of the conflict notwithstanding, America is fighting a determined enemy bent on using both asymmetric techniques and terrorism to counter overwhelming U.S. advantage in conventional warfare. Moreover, the 911 attacks highlighted the enemys willingness to blatantly disregard laws of armed conflict and ethics in general, thus posing unique challenges to todays combat leaders. This paper discusses the meaning of military ethics and its implications for the current warfighting environment. The author then describes a potential real-world scenario in which a JTF operates that presents a number of ethical dilemmas. The scenario involves the collaboration of the three main terrorist, separatist, and insurgent organizations in the Philippine Islands. Eight potential ethical dilemmas are discussed for future commanders consideration. Finally, he recommends ways in which a future JTF commander can conduct more effective, ethically sound operations. The more knowledgeable a JTF commander becomes of ethical conundrums presented by the current operational environment, the better equipped he will be to provide the leadership subordinate commanders require in times of ethical uncertainty.
- Humanities and History
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Unconventional Warfare