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 inMadrid and London, the War on Terror depicted by Afghanistan and the 2003invasion of Iraq, the subsequent insurgency in Iraq, and the 2006 war in the MiddleEast moved matters of ethics and justice in war back to centre stage. How justifiableare 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 theiropponents? Subjective and nationalistic or ideological opinions even furthercomplicate matters. In addition, the interstate profile of war collapsed into anintrastate phenomenon with a humanitarian crisis profile where the suffering ofinnocent victims, rather than soldiers, personifies the violence and destruction. Ifever the boundaries of war needed to be reinstated and the conduct of war redirectedby justice and ethics, the early 21st century presents a case in point.The Ethics of War: Classic and Contemporary Readings brings to the forean extensive array of fundamental Western thoughts and scripts on two primarydomains of war: firstly, the righteousness of going to war against an opponent andsecondly, 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 ofwar follows a chronological-thematic line that depicts important contributors andsections of the original (translated) scripts from the Western debate.
Published
2011-08-08
Section
Book Reviews