War, Morality, and the Military Profession

By Malham M. Wakin | Go to book overview

In untroubled times, progress toward an effective rule of law in the international community is slow indeed. Inertia rests more heavily upon the society of nations than upon any other society. Now we stand at one of those rare moments when the thought and institutions and habits of the world have been shaken by the impact of world war on the lives of countless millions. Such occasions rarely come and quickly pass. We are put under a heavy responsibility to see that our behavior. during this unsettled period will direct the world's thought toward a firmer enforcement of the laws of international conduct, so as to make war less attractive to those who have governments and the destinies of peoples in their power.


Notes
1.
The quotations are from Eppstein, The Catholic Tradition of the Law of Nations ( London, 1935), p. 65. Other useful works on the relation between war and Christian doctrine include Nussbaum, "Just War—A legal Concept?" Michigan Law Review 42 ( 1943):453; Von Elbe, "The Evolution of the Concept of the Just War in International Law", American Journal of International Law 33 ( 1939):665; Regout, La Doctrine de Guerre Juste ( 1934).
2.
Grotius, De Jure Belli ac Pacis (1625).
3.
The course of events with respect to war crimes charges of all descriptions following the First World War is set forth comprehensively and clearly in History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission ( London, HMSO 1948).
4.
This language was part of Article 227 of the Treaty of Versailles which provided that a "special tribunal" would be established to try "William II of Hohenzollern, formerly German Emperor." The government of the Netherlands, where the ex-Kaiser had sought refuge, refused to turn him over to the Allies, on the ground that the offense charged was unknown in Dutch law and appeared to be of a political rather than a criminal character.
5.
There was, however, a significant gap in the procedure, in that the decision of the superior body (the Council of the League of Nations) had to be unanimous, except for the parties to the dispute themselves. If unanimity was unattainable, then all members were free "to take such action as they shall consider necessary for the maintenance of right and justice." The action might be war, thus legitimized by the League's inaction.
6.
There were other agreements and international resolutions to which the United States was a party that renounced war. Perhaps the most important was the resolution of the Sixth Pan-American Conference at Havana in 1928, which characterized "war of aggression" as "an international crime against the human species" and declared it "illicit" and "prohibited."
7.
The discussion in the United Nations War Crimes Commission and in its legal committee is set forth in the commission's "History," supra note 3.

-237-

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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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