This book explores the ethical implications of war in the contemporary world. The author, a leading theorist of warfare, explains why it is of crucial importance that Western countries should continue to apply traditional ethical rules and practices in war, even when engaging with international terrorist groups.
The book uses the work of the late American philosopher Richard Rorty to explain the need to make ethical rules central to the conduct of military operations. Arguing that the question of ethics was re-opened by the `War on Terror', the book then examines America's post-9/11 redefinition of its own prevailing discourse of war. It ends with a discussion of other key challenges to the ethics of war, such as the rise of private security companies and the use of robots in war. In exploring these issues, this book seeks to place ethics at the centre of debates about the conduct of future warfare.
This book will be of great interest to all students of military ethics, war studies, military history and strategic studies in general, and to military colleges in particular.
Christopher Coker is Professor of International Relations, LSE and Visiting Professor at the Staff College, Oslo. He is the author of many books on war, most recently `The Warrior Ethos' (Routledge 2007). He is a former NATO Fellow.
1. Fighting Terrorism 1.1 A New Discourse on War? 1.2 Richard Rorty and the Ethics of War 2. Etiquettes of Atrocity 2.1 Etiquettes of Atrocity 2.2 Discourses on War 2.3 Keeping the Discourse: The United States and Vietnam 2.4 Carl Schmitt and the Theory of the Partisan 3. Changing the Discourse 3.1 Germany and the Eastern Front 1941-5 3.2 France and Algeria 1955-8 3.3 Israel and the Intifada 3.4 Conclusion 4. A New Discourse? 4.1 The War on Terror - Is it a War? 4.2 Excluding Unlawful Combatants 4.3 Network Warfare 4.4 Networked Ethics 5. Grammars of Killing 5.1 Grammars of Killing 5.2 Respecting our Enemies 5.3 Non-Lethal Weapons 6. The Unconditional Imperative 6.1 Jaspers and the Warrior Ethos 6.2 The Micromanagement of the Battlefield 6.3 Corporate Warriors? 6.4 Asimov's Children 7. Back to the Greeks 7.1 Back to the Greeks? 7.2 Simone Weil and The Iliad 7.3 Thucydides and the Melian Dialogue 7.4 What's he to Hecuba? 8. The Heuristics of Fear