Text Browser Navigation Bar: Main Site Navigation and Search | Current Page Navigation | Current Page Content

U.S. Army War College >> Strategic Studies Institute >> Publications >> Resolving Ethical Challenges in an Era of Persistent Conflict

Login to "My SSI" Contact

U.S. Army War College >> Strategic Studies Institute >> Publications >> Details

Resolving Ethical Challenges in an Era of Persistent Conflict

Authored by Dr. C. Anthony Pfaff.

Resolving Ethical Challenges i... Cover Image

Brief Synopsis

The character of irregular warfare has challenged the American “way of war” in a number of ways. Not only does it challenge how U.S. forces fight, it also brings into question the ethical norms that they employ to govern the fighting. The resulting confusion is especially evident in the public debate over the use of force in Iraq and Afghanistan. For example, traditional just war thinking has permitted collateral damage that has undermined the civil order that those military operations are intended to impose, while at the same time has prohibited Soldiers from killing or detaining the enemy who threatens that order in the first place. These counterintuitive outcomes suggest that the traditional view needs to be revised in light of the demands of combating irregular threats. Revising this view will have to take into account the emphasis that combating irregular threats places on populations rather than on military capability. In doing so, it expands the ends and means of war requiring Soldiers to not only defend the state, but to impose civil-order outside the state as well. These complications fundamentally change the character of warfare and require Soldiers to rethink where they may accept and place risk when balancing the ethical demands of their profession. This point has important implications for the way the United States should fight irregular wars and the norms they should employ to govern them.

You may also be interested in the following titles:

Survey: Resolving Ethical Challenges in an Era of Persistent Conflict

1. How would you rate the writing and overall quality? (5 best - 1 Worst)

2. Is the content relevant for influencing present and future debates?

Also by the Author/Editor:

Development and Reform of the Iraqi Police Forces
Peacekeeping and the Just War Tradition
Army Professionalism, the Military Ethic, and Officership in the 21st Century

View other pubs in the following categories:

Era of Persistent Conflict
Military Leadership
War and Society
Military Culture
Military Professionalism

  • Download it Now!

  • Hardcopies

    • Study is: Available via Download Only
    • For out of stock or digital only publications, refer to the new GPO on-demand site. For a small fee, receive many prior publications. Click here to visit.
    • All materials on our website are available as a free download.