War, Morality, and the Military Profession

By Malham M. Wakin | Go to book overview

Introduction to Part 1

Malham M. Wakin

In a post- Vietnam and post-Watergate era we find in the United States a great deal of attention being paid to professional ethics. Congressional ethics committees have received considerable publicity for their investigations of various conflict-of-interest issues affecting members of Congress. Much attention has been given to the fact that many lawyers were involved in the events surrounding the Watergate affair—subsequently we find many law schools providing a forum for searching inquiry in required courses in legal ethics. The many contemporary moral issues in medicine—test-tube babies, abortion, DNA research, organ replacement, right to die, etc.—command media attention almost daily and have generated courses and literature written by concerned authors on medical ethics and bioethics. The business world has its special area of moral sensitivity, with world attention being directed to alleged bribery of international political figures by multinational corporations, defense contract abuses, and other business ethics issues. Many firms and business colleges are developing and teaching courses in business ethics. Professional educators find themselves caught up in these issues both as spectators and participants. Higher costs and reduced enrollments tempt teachers to woo students with easier work and higher grades in order to guarantee teacher job security, with a resultant diminishing of educational standards. Perennial concern for student cheating has heightened. In 1973 Karl Menninger reported that "studies at Cornell University have tended to show that the average child of ten in the United States has already developed a noncondemning attitude toward cheating." 1

Yet, at the height of public revelations of ethical misdeeds in the many professions already mentioned, a poll taken by U.S. News and World Report in 19762 suggests that these ethical lapses must be

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War, Morality, and the Military Profession
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • About the Book and Editor v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface to the First Edition xi
  • Preface to the Second Edition xiii
  • Part 1 Ethics and the Military Profession 1
  • Introduction to Part 1 3
  • Notes 8
  • 1: The World of Epictetus: Reflections on Survival and Leadership 10
  • 2: Officership as a Profession 23
  • Notes 33
  • 3: The Military Mind: Conservative Realism of the Professional Military Ethic 35
  • Notes 52
  • 4: The Future of the Military Profession 57
  • Notes 78
  • 5: Society and the Soldier: 1914-18 80
  • Notes 89
  • 6: Today and Tomorrow 90
  • Notes 102
  • 7: The Military in the Service of the State 104
  • Notes 120
  • 8: The Professions Under Siege 121
  • 9: The Shame of the Professions 134
  • 10: Duty, Honor, Country: Practice and Precept 140
  • Notes 155
  • 11: Conflicting Loyalties and the American Military Ethic 157
  • Notes 169
  • 12: Loyalty, Honor, and the Modern Military 171
  • Notes 178
  • 13: Integrity 180
  • 14: The Ethics of Leadership I 181
  • Notes 198
  • 15: The Ethics of Leadership II 200
  • Part 2 War and Morality 217
  • Introduction to Part 2 219
  • Notes 225
  • 16: Just and Unjust Wars 226
  • Notes 237
  • 17: The Just War and Non-Violence Positions 239
  • Notes 254
  • 18: Just-War Theories: The Bases, Interrelations, Priorities, and Functions of Their Criteria 256
  • Notes 272
  • 19: Pacifism: Some Philosophical Considerations 277
  • 20: War and Murder 284
  • Notes 296
  • 21: War and Massacre 297
  • Notes 314
  • 22: On the Morality of War: A Preliminary Inquiry 317
  • Notes 338
  • 23: The Killing of the Innocent 341
  • Notes 359
  • 24: War Crimes 365
  • Notes 378
  • 25: Superior Orders and Reprisals 380
  • Notes 389
  • 26: The Laws of War 391
  • Notes 407
  • Selected Bibliography 409
  • 27: On the Morality of Chemical/Biological War 410
  • Notes 422
  • 28: Supreme Emergency 425
  • Notes 442
  • 29: Some Paradoxes of Deterrence 444
  • Notes 460
  • 30: On Nuclear War and Nuclear Deterrence 463
  • Notes 483
  • 31: Moral Clarity in the Nuclear Age 487
  • Notes 497
  • 32: On Nuclear Morality 499
  • Notes 508
  • 33: The Moral Case for the Strategic Defense Initiative 509
  • Notes 515
  • The Contributors 517
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