War, Morality, and the Military Profession

By Malham M. Wakin | Go to book overview

resort to nuclear weapons. Our support for enhanced command and control facilities, for major reductions in strategic and tactical nuclear forces, and for a "no first use" policy (as set forth in this letter) is meant to be seen as a complement to our desire to draw a moral line against nuclear war.

Any claim by any government that it is pursuing a morally acceptable policy of deterrence must be scrutinized with the greatest care. We are prepared and eager to participate in our country in the ongoing public debate on moral grounds.

The need to rethink the deterrence policy of our nation, to make the revisions necessary to reduce the possibility of nuclear war and to move toward a more stable system of national and international security will demand a substantial intellectual, political and moral effort. It also will require, we believe, the willingness to open ourselves to the providential care, power and word of God, which call us to recognize our common humanity and the bonds of mutual responsibility which exist in the international community in spite of political differences and nuclear arsenals.

Indeed, we do acknowledge that there are many strong voices within our own episcopal ranks and within the wider Catholic community in the United States which challenge the strategy of deterrence as an adequate response to the arms race today. They highlight the historical evidence that deterrence has not in fact set in motion substantial processes of disarmament.

Moreover, these voices rightly raise the concern that even the conditional acceptance of nuclear deterrence as laid out in a letter such as this might be inappropriately used by some to reinforce the policy of arms buildup. In its stead they call us to raise a prophetic challenge to the community of faith—a challenge which goes beyond nuclear deterrence, toward more resolute steps to actual bilateral disarmament and peacemaking. We recognize the intellectual ground on which the argument is built and the religious sensibility which gives it its strong force.


Notes
1.
John Paul II, Address to Scientists and Scholars, 4; cited, p. 621.
2.
Cf. Declaration on Prevention of Nuclear War.
3.
Paul VI, World Day of Peace Message, 1967; in Documents, p. 198.
4.
Statement of the Holy See to the United Nations ( 1976), in The Church and the Arms Race; Pax Christi-USA( N.Y.: 1976) p. 23-24.
5.
R. Adams and S. Cullen, The Final Epidemic:Physicians and Scientists on Nuclear War, ( Chicago: 1981).

-483-

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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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