War, Morality, and the Military Profession

By Malham M. Wakin | Go to book overview

6 Today and Tomorrow

Sir John Winthrop Hackett

Sir John reflects on the nature of war and the role of the military profession in this lecture, suggesting that Clausewitz's view of total war must today be revised. He anticipates that the role of the military must become that of containing violence in the sense of Janowitz's constabulary conception and that total war must be avoided. He calls for talented minds to handle tomorrow's military challenges and emphasizes the positive personal rewards of competent military service. He perceives the military and civilian society as moving closer together but predicts that the military calling will always maintain its unique professional character because of its special function and its unlimited liability.

—M.M.W.

After World War I, in England, we did better. A conscious effort was made in the 1930s to build up a more professional and modern army and there was progress. A more professional outlook developed, with better pay and brighter promotion prospects leading to harder work and higher efficiency. The British commanders of the second German war were, in consequence, generally much better at their jobs than those in the first, even if they were not better, braver, finer men, which on the whole they were possibly not. Most knew their business, not as of yesterday, like some of the senior commanders in the first war, but as of today.

It has, in our time, been customary to think of war and peace as though one must be at war if one is not at peace and vice versa.

Reprinted from The Profession of Arms, The 1962 Lee Knowles Lectures, pp. 54-66. London: The Times Publishing Co., Ltd. Reprinted by permission of Harold Ober Associates Incorporated. © 1962 by General Sir John Winthrop Hackett.

-90-

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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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