Torture, Assassination, and Blackmail in an Age of Asymmetric Conflict
Author: Michael L. Gross
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Asymmetric conflict is changing the way that we practice and think about war. Torture, rendition, assassination, blackmail, extortion, direct attacks on civilians, and chemical weapons are all finding their way to the battlefield despite long-standing prohibitions. This book offers a practical guide for policymakers, military officers, lawyers, students, journalists and others who ask how to adapt the laws and conventions of war to the changing demands of asymmetric conflict. As war wages between state and nonstate parties, difficult questions arise about the status of guerrillas, the methods each side may use to disable the other and the means necessary to identify and protect civilians caught in the crossfire. Answering these questions while providing each side a reasonable chance to press its claims by force of arms requires us to reevaluate the principle of noncombatant immunity, adjust the standards of proportionality, and redefine the limits of unnecessary suffering and superfluous injury. In doing so, many practices that conventional war prohibits are slowly evolving into new norms of asymmetric conflict.
Just war theory focuses primarily on bodily harm, such as killing, maiming, and torture, while other harms are often largely overlooked. At the same time, contemporary international conflicts increasingly involve the use of unarmed tactics, employing 'softer' alternatives or supplements to kinetic power that have not been sufficiently addressed by the ethics of war or international law. Soft war tactics include cyber-warfare and economic sanctions, media warfare, and propaganda, as well as non-violent resistance as it plays out in civil disobedience, boycotts, and 'lawfare.' While the just war tradition has much to say about 'hard' war - bullets, bombs, and bayonets - it is virtually silent on the subject of 'soft' war. Soft War: The Ethics of Unarmed Conflict illuminates this neglected aspect of international conflict.
As insurgencies rage, a burning question remains: how should insurgents fight technologically superior state armies? Commentators rarely ask this question because the catchphrase 'we fight by the rules, but they don't' is nearly axiomatic. But truly, are all forms of guerrilla warfare equally reprehensible? Can we think cogently about just guerrilla warfare? May guerrilla tactics such as laying improvised explosive devices (IEDs), assassinating informers, using human shields, seizing prisoners of war, conducting cyber strikes against civilians, manipulating the media, looting resources, or using nonviolence to provoke violence prove acceptable under the changing norms of contemporary warfare? The short answer is 'yes', but modern guerrilla warfare requires a great deal of qualification, explanation, and argumentation before it joins the repertoire of acceptable military behavior. Not all insurgents fight justly, but guerrilla tactics and strategies are also not always the heinous practices that state powers often portray them to be.
When it comes to thinking about war and warriors, first there was Achilles, and then the rest followed. The choice of the term warrior is an important one for this discussion. While there has been extensive discussion on what counts as military professionalism, that is what makes a soldier, sailor or other military personnel a professional, the warrior archetype (varied for the various roles and service branches) still holds sway in the military self-conception, rooted as it is in the more existential notions of war, honor and meaning. In this volume, Kaurin uses Achilles as a touch stone for discussing the warrior, military ethics and the aspects of contemporary warfare that go by the name of 'asymmetrical war.' The title of the book cuts two ways-Achilles as a warrior archetype to help us think through the moral implications and challenges posed by asymmetrical warfare, but also as an archetype of our adversaries to help us think about asymmetric opponents.
Torture and Moral Integrity tackles a concrete moral problem that has been hotly debated by governments, scholars, and the media: the morality of interrogational torture. It discusses multiple types of torture with great philosophical acuity and seeks to explain why interrogational torture and other types of torture are always and everywhere morally wrong. At the same time, it rigorously plumbs the general structure of morality and the intricacies of moral conflicts and probes some of the chief grounds for the moral illegitimacy of various modes of conduct. It defends a deontological conception of morality against the subtle critiques that have been mounted over the past few decades by proponents of consequentialism. Kramer's recommendations concerning the legal consequences of the perpetration of torture by public officials or private individuals, for example, are based squarely on his more abstract accounts of the nature of torture and the nature of morality. His philosophical reflections on the structure of morality are a vital background for his approach to torture, and his approach to torture is a natural outgrowth of those philosophical reflections.
Selective Conscientious Objection in the Modern Military
Author: Dr Andrea Ellner
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Category: Technology & Engineering
Traditionally few people challenged the distinction between absolute and selective conscientious objection by those being asked to carry out military duties. The former is an objection to fighting all wars - a position generally respected and accommodated by democratic states, while the latter is an objection to a specific war or conflict - theoretically and practically a much harder idea to accept and embrace for military institutions. However, a decade of conflict not clearly aligned to vital national interests combined with recent acts of selective conscientious objection by members of the military have led some to reappraise the situation and argue that selective conscientious objection ought to be legally recognised and permitted. Political, social and philosophical factors lie behind this new interest which together mean that the time is ripe for a fresh and thorough evaluation of the topic. This book brings together arguments for and against selective conscientious objection, as well as case studies examining how different countries deal with those who claim the status of selective conscientious objectors. As such, it sheds new light on a topic of increasing importance to those concerned with military ethics and public policy, within military institutions, government, and academia.
This Companion provides scholars and graduates, serving and retired military professionals, members of the diplomatic and policy communities concerned with security affairs and legal professionals who deal with military law and with international law on armed conflicts, with a comprehensive and authoritative state-of-the-art review of current research in the area of military ethics. Topics in this volume reflect both perennial and pressing contemporary issues in the ethics of the use of military force and are written by established professionals and respected commentators. Subjects are organized by three major perspectives on the use of military force: the decision whether to use military force in a given context, the matter of right conduct in the use of such force, and ethical responsibilities beyond the end of an armed conflict. Treatment of issues in each of these sections takes account of both present-day moral challenges and new approaches to these and the historical tradition of just war. Military ethics, as it has developed, has been a particularly Western concern and this volume reflects that reality. However, in a globalized world, awareness of similarities and differences between Western approaches and those of other major cultures is essential. For this reason the volume concludes with chapters on ethics and war in the Islamic, Chinese, and Indian traditions, with the aim of integrating reflection on these approaches into the broad consideration of military ethics provided by this volume.
The increased military employment of remotely operated aerial vehicles, also known as drones, has raised a wide variety of important ethical questions, concerns, and challenges. Many of these have not yet received the serious scholarly examination such worries rightly demand. This volume attempts to fill that gap through sustained analysis of a wide range of specific moral issues that arise from this new form of killing by remote control. Many, for example, are troubled by the impact that killing through the mediated mechanisms of a drone half a world away has on the pilots who fly them. What happens to concepts such as bravery and courage when a war-fighter controlling a drone is never exposed to any physical danger? This dramatic shift in risk also creates conditions of extreme asymmetry between those who wage war and those they fight. What are the moral implications of such asymmetry on the military that employs such drones and the broader questions for war and a hope for peace in the world going forward? How does this technology impact the likely successes of counter-insurgency operations or humanitarian interventions? Does not such weaponry run the risk of making war too easy to wage and tempt policy makers into killing when other more difficult means should be undertaken? Killing By Remote Control directly engages all of these issues. Some essays discuss the just war tradition and explore whether the rise of drones necessitates a shift in the ways we think about the ethics of war in the broadest sense. Others scrutinize more specific uses of drones, such as their present use in what are known as "targeted killing" by the United States. The book similarly tackles the looming prospect of autonomous drones and the many serious moral misgivings such a future portends. "A path-breaking volume! BJ Strawser, an internationally known analyst of drone ethics, has assembled a broad spectrum of civilian and military experts to create the first book devoted to this hot-button issue. This important work represents vanguard thinking on weapon systems that make headlines nearly every day. It will catalyze debates policy-makers and military leaders must have in order to preserve peace and protect the innocent. - James Cook, Department Chair/Head of Philosophy, US Air Force Academy "The use of 'drones' (remotely piloted air vehicles) in war has grown exponentially in recent years. Clearly, this evolution presages an enormous explosion of robotic vehicles in war - in the air, on the ground, and on and under the sea. This collection of essays provides an invaluable contribution to what promises to be one of the most fundamental challenges to our assumptions about ethics and warfare in at least the last century. The authors in this anthology approach the ethical challenges posed by these rapidly advancing technologies from a wide range of perspectives. Cumulatively, they represent an essential overview of the fundamental ethical issues involved in their development. This collection makes a key contribution to an urgently needed dialogue about the moral questions involved." - Martin L. Cook, Adm. James B. Stockdale Professor of Professional Military Ethics, Professor Leadership & Ethics, College of Operational & Strategic Leadership, U.S. Naval War College
Agenda Vetting in Global Issue Networks and the Shaping of Human Security
Author: Charli Carpenter
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Category: Political Science
Why do some issues and threats—diseases, weapons, human rights abuses, vulnerable populations—get more global policy attention than others? How do global activist networks decide the particular causes for which they advocate among the many problems in need of solutions? According to Charli Carpenter, the answer lies in the politics of global issue networks themselves. Building on surveys, focus groups, and analyses of issue network websites, Carpenter concludes that network access has a direct relation to influence over how issues are ranked. Advocacy elites in nongovernmental and transnational organizations judge candidate issues not just on their merit but on how the issues connect to specific organizations, individuals, and even other issues. In "Lost" Causes, Carpenter uses three case studies of emerging campaigns to show these dynamics at work: banning infant male circumcision; compensating the wartime killing and maiming of civilians; and prohibiting the deployment of fully autonomous weapons (so-called killer robots). The fate of each of these campaigns was determined not just by the persistence and hard work of entrepreneurs but by advocacy elites’ perception of the issues’ network ties. Combining sweeping analytical argument with compelling narrative, Carpenter reveals how the global human security agenda is determined.