French, Shannon E.; McCain, John, and . The Code of the Warrior: Exploring Warrior Values Past and Present

2004, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Back matter: Warrior cultures throughout history have developed unique codes that restrict their behavior and set them apart from the rest of society. But what possible reason could a warrior have for accepting such restraints? Why should those whose profession can force them into hellish kill-or-be-killed conditions care about such lofty concepts as honor, courage, nobility, duty, and sacrifice? And why should it matter so much to the warriors themselves that they be something more than mere murderers? The Code of the Warrior tackles these timely issues and takes the reader on a tour of warrior cultures and their values, from the ancient Greeks and Romans to the “barbaric” Vikings and Celts, from legendary chivalric knights to Native American tribesmen, from Chinese warrior monks pursuing enlightenment to Japanese samurai practicing death. Drawing these rich traditions up to the present, the author quests for a code for the warriors of today, as they do battle in asymmetric conflicts against unconventional forces and the scourge of global terrorism.

Comment: A longish article, but very useful as a thorough critique of luck egalitarianism, for the author's take on the capability approach, and for her account of democratic equality which revolves around the ideal of democratic citizenship

Frowe, Helen, and . The Ethics of War and Peace: An Introduction

2011, London: Routledge.

Publisher: When is it right to go to war? When is a war illegal? What are the rules of engagement? What should happen when a war is over? How should we view terrorism? The Ethics of War and Peace is a fresh and contemporary introduction to one of the oldest but still most relevant ethical debates. It introduces students to contemporary Just War Theory in a stimulating and engaging way, perfect for those approaching the topic for the first time. Helen Frowe explains the core issues in Just War Theory, and chapter by chapter examines the recent and ongoing philosophical? debates on:

  • theories of self defence and national defence
  • Jus ad Bellum, Jus in Bello, and Jus post Bellum
  • the moral status of combatants
  • the principle of non-combatant immunity
  • the nature of terrorism and the moral status of terrorists.

Each chapter concludes with a useful summary, discussion questions and suggestions for further reading, to aid student learning and revision. The Ethics of War and Peace is the ideal textbook for students studying philosophy, politics and international relations.

Comment: This text is best used in modules or classes introducing or investigating military ethics, war theory, and legal philosophy.

Frowe, Helen, and . Defensive Killing: An Essay on War and Self-Defence

2014, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Abstract: Most people believe that it is sometimes morally permissible for a person to use force to defend herself or others against harm. In Defensive Killing, Helen Frowe offers a detailed exploration of when and why the use of such force is permissible. She begins by considering the use of force between individuals, investigating both the circumstances under which an attacker forfeits her right not to be harmed, and the distinct question of when it is all-things-considered permissible to use force against an attacker. Frowe then extends this enquiry to war, defending the view that we should judge the ethics of killing in war by the moral rules that govern killing between individuals. She argues that this requires us to significantly revise our understanding of the moral status of non-combatants in war. Non-combatants who intentionally contribute to an unjust war forfeit their rights not to be harmed, such that they are morally liable to attack by combatants fighting a just war.

Comment: This text should be used in modules focused on self-defense, responsibility, and justice.

Sherman, Nancy, and . Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy Behind the Military Mind

2005, New York: Oxford University Press.

Publisher: While few soldiers may have read the works of Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius, it is undoubtedly true that the ancient philosophy known as Stoicism guides the actions of many in the military. Soldiers and seamen learn early in their training “to suck it up,” to endure, to put aside their feelings and to get on with the mission. Stoic Warriors is the first book to delve deeply into the ancient legacy of this relationship, exploring what the Stoic philosophy actually is, the role it plays in the character of the military (both ancient and modern), and its powerful value as a philosophy of life. Marshalling anecdotes from military history–ranging from ancient Greek wars to World War II, Vietnam, and Iraq–Nancy Sherman illuminates the military mind and uses it as a window on the virtues of the Stoic philosophy, which are far richer and more interesting than our popularized notions. Sherman–a respected philosopher who taught at the US Naval Academy–explores the deep, lasting value that Stoicism can yield, in issues of military leadership and character; in the Stoic conception of anger and its control (does a warrior need anger to go to battle?); and in Stoic thinking about fear and resilience, grief and mourning, and the value of camaraderie and brotherhood. Sherman concludes by recommending a moderate Stoicism, where the task for the individual, both civilian and military, youth and adult, is to temper control with forgiveness, and warrior drive and achievement with humility and humor. Here then is a perceptive investigation of what makes Stoicism so compelling not only as a guiding principle for the military, but as a philosophy for anyone facing the hardships of life.

Comment: This book offers an opportunity to engage military philosophy from a modernized Stoic perspective. It is best used in conjunction with other Ancient philosophical work on warfare.

Sherman, Nancy, and . From Nuremberg to Guantánamo: Medical Ethics Then and Now

2007, Washington University Global Studies Law Review 6(3): 609-619.

Abstract: On October 25, 1946, three weeks after the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg entered its verdicts, the United States established Military Tribunal I for the trial of twenty-three Nazi physicians. The charges, delivered by Brigadier General Telford Taylor on December 9, 1946, form a seminal chapter in the history of medical ethics and, specifically, medical ethics in war. The list of noxious experiments conducted on civilians and prisons of war, and condemned by the Tribunal as war crimes and as crimes against humanity, is by now more or less familiar. That list included: high-altitude experiments; freezing experiments; malaria experiments; sulfanilamide experiments; bone, muscle, and nerve regeneration and bone transplantation experiments; sea water experiments; jaundice and spotted fever experiments; sterilization experiments; experiments with poison and with incendiary bombs. What remains less familiar is the moral mindset of doctors and health care workers who plied their medical skill for morally questionable uses in war. In his 1981 work, The Nazi Doctors, Robert Jay Lifton took up that question, interviewing doctors, many of whom for forty years continued to distance themselves psychologically from their deeds. The questions about moral distancing Lifton raised (though not the questions about criminal experiments) have immediate urgency for us now. Military medical doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists serve in U.S. military prisons in Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Kandahar, and, until very recently, in undisclosed CIA operated facilities around the world where medical ethics are again at issue. Moreover, they serve in top positions in the Pentagon, as civilian and military heads of command, who pass orders and regulations to military doctors in the field, and who are in charge of the health of enemy combatants, as well as U.S. soldiers. Because we recently marked the sixtieth anniversary of the judgment at Nuremberg, I want to awaken our collective memory to the ways in which doctors in war, even in a war very different from the one the Nazis fought, can insulate themselves from their moral and professional consciences.

Comment: This text is best used as an additional reading in bioethics, or in just war theory (post ad bellum).

Sherman, Nancy, and . Afterwar: Healing the Moral Wounds of our Soldiers

2015, New York: Oxford University Press.

Abstract: Movies like American Sniper and The Hurt Locker hint at the inner scars our soldiers incur during service in a war zone. The moral dimensions of their psychological injuries–guilt, shame, feeling responsible for doing wrong or being wronged-elude conventional treatment. Georgetown philosophy professor Nancy Sherman turns her focus to these moral injuries in Afterwar. She argues that psychology and medicine alone are inadequate to help with many of the most painful questions veterans are bringing home from war. Trained in both ancient ethics and psychoanalysis, and with twenty years of experience working with the military, Sherman draws on in-depth interviews with servicemen and women to paint a richly textured and compassionate picture of the moral and psychological aftermath of America’s longest wars. She explores how veterans can go about reawakening their feelings without becoming re-traumatized; how they can replace resentment with trust; and the changes that need to be made in order for this to happen-by military courts, VA hospitals, and the civilians who have been shielded from the heaviest burdens of war. 2.6 million soldiers are currently returning home from war, the greatest number since Vietnam. Facing an increase in suicides and post-traumatic stress, the military has embraced measures such as resilience training and positive psychology to heal mind as well as body. Sherman argues that some psychological wounds of war need a kind of healing through moral understanding that is the special province of philosophical engagement and listening.

Comment: Use this text as an easy-reader alongside more rigorous texts to shore up arguments from case studies and example.