During the past decade, armed drones have entered the American military arsenal as a core tactic for countering terrorism. When coupled with access to reliable information, they make it possible to deploy lethal force accurately across borders while keeping one’s own soldiers out of harm’s way. The potential to direct force with great precision also offers the possibility of reducing harm to civilians. At the same time, because drones eliminate some of the traditional constraints on the use of force—like the need to gain political support for full mobilization—they lower the threshold for launching military strikes. The development of drone use capacity across dozens of countries increases the need for global standards on the use of these weapons to assure that their deployment is strategically wise and ethically and legally sound.
Presenting a robust conversation among leading scholars in the areas of international legal standards, counterterrorism strategy, humanitarian law, and the ethics of force, Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict takes account of current American drone campaigns and the developing legal, ethical, and strategic implications of this new way of warfare. Among the contributions to this volume are a thorough examination of the American government’s legal justifications for the targeting of enemies using drones, an analysis of American drone campaigns’ notable successes and failures, and a discussion of the linked issues of human rights, freedom of information, and government accountability.
A Moral Military
Sidney Axinn Temple University Press, 2008 Library of Congress U22.A95 2009 | Dewey Decimal 172.42
In this new edition of the classic book on the moral conduct of war, Sidney Axinn provides a full-length treatment of the military conventions from a philosophical point of view. Axinn considers these basic ethical questions within the context of the laws of warfare: Should a good soldier ever disobey a direct military order? Are there restrictions on how we fight a war? What is meant by “military honor,” and does it really affect the contemporary soldier? Is human dignity possible under battlefield conditions?
Axinn answers “yes” to these questions. His objective in A Moral Military is to establish a basic framework for moral military action and to assist in analyzing military professional ethics. He argues for the seriousness of the concept of military honor but limits honorable military activity by a strict interpretation of the notion of war crime.
With revisions and expansions throughout, including a new chapter on torture, A Moral Military is an essential guide on the nature of war during a time when the limits of acceptable behavior are being stretched in new directions.
A Moral Military
Sidney Axinn Temple University Press, 1990 Library of Congress U22.A95 1989 | Dewey Decimal 172.42
"Sidney Axinn addresses the hardest questions raised by the experience of war and argues his way to clear and forthright answers. His book is a virtuoso display of intellectual energy and moral courage."
--Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study
Should a good soldier ever disobey a direct military order? Are there restrictions on how we fight a war? What is meant by "military honor," and does it really affect the contemporary soldier? Is human dignity possible under battlefield conditions? Sidney Axinn considers these basic ethical questions within the context of the laws of warfare and answers "yes" to each of these questions. In this study of the conduct of war, he examines actions that are honorable or dishonorable and provides the first full-length treatment of the military conventions from a philosophical point of view.
Axinn gives a philosophical analysis of the "Laws of Warfare" as found in the Hague and Geneva Conventions, which have been agreed to by almost every nation in the world. The aims of his study are to establish a basic twentieth-century framework for moral military action and to assist military personnel in analyzing their won professional ethic. Stating that moral reasoning is required by people in military uniform in a wide variety of situations, the author examines the question of the limits of military obedience.
Axinn argues for the seriousness of the concept of military honor but limits honorable military activity by a strict interpretation of the notion of war crime. Major chapters deal with military honor, prisoners of war, spying, war crimes, the dirty-hands theory of command, nuclear weapons, terrorism, and covert operations.
This philosophical study of the line between honorable and dishonorable military action cautions that in compliance with the war conventions professional military personnel and knowledgeable civilians must not lose their moral nerve nor abandon honor to satisfy immoral political requests.
"This is an excellent and long-overdue text on the ethics of the profession of arms. It will be welcomed by both students and instructors due to its straightforward yet entertaining approach to this complex subject. I recommend it highly for both the professional soldier and the citizen concerned with the way his or her country conducts its defense."
--LTC John Nugent, USA
"In order to make warfare more humane, the [Geneva and the Hague] Conventions require nations to teach their provisions to their entire military and civilian populations. This book is written to promote and achieve that end, to defend the rules of war and to explain the reasons for them. â€¦it goes a long way toward teaching the basic Conventions of war and showing strong reasons for following them."
"An interesting read. If war is immoral, can a war be fought morally? According to Axinn, yes."
--Reference and Research Book News
Georgetown University Press, 2019 Library of Congress U22.S385 2019 | Dewey Decimal 172.42
The Verdict of Battle
James Q. Whitman Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress U22.W55 2012 | Dewey Decimal 172.42
Slaughter in battle was once seen as a legitimate way to settle disputes. When pitched battles ceased to exist, the law of victory gave way to the rule of unbridled force. Whitman explains why ritualized violence was more effective in ending carnage, and why humanitarian laws that view war as evil have led to longer, more barbaric conflicts.