THE ETHICS OF WAR: CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY READINGS/EDITED BY GREGORY M. REICHBERG, HENDRIK SYSE AND ENDRE BEGBY

Francois Vreÿ

Abstract


In no uncertain way have the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent attacks in
Madrid and London, the War on Terror depicted by Afghanistan and the 2003
invasion of Iraq, the subsequent insurgency in Iraq, and the 2006 war in the Middle
East moved matters of ethics and justice in war back to centre stage. How justifiable
are the actions by the USA, Israel, Hezbollah and al Qaeda to go to war? If justified,
how ethical are their actions in the execution of their version of warfare against their
opponents? Subjective and nationalistic or ideological opinions even further
complicate matters. In addition, the interstate profile of war collapsed into an
intrastate phenomenon with a humanitarian crisis profile where the suffering of
innocent victims, rather than soldiers, personifies the violence and destruction. If
ever the boundaries of war needed to be reinstated and the conduct of war redirected
by justice and ethics, the early 21st century presents a case in point.
The Ethics of War: Classic and Contemporary Readings brings to the fore
an extensive array of fundamental Western thoughts and scripts on two primary
domains of war: firstly, the righteousness of going to war against an opponent and
secondly, the morality or justification of the ways and means employed during war.
To these ends this publication by Reichberg, Syse and Begby (eds.) on the ethics of
war follows a chronological-thematic line that depicts important contributors and
sections of the original (translated) scripts from the Western debate.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5787/34-2-26

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Copyright (c) 2018 Francois Vreÿ


ISSN 2224-0020 (online); ISSN 1022-8136 (print)

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