Friday, November 30, 2012

Futuristic weapons and collateral damage

At some point in the future there will be little excuse for collateral damage and we may forget what the doctrine of double effect is. Is the future coming soon

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jewish military ethics

A rather polemical lay view of Jewish military ethics by Rabbi Lazer Gurkow

Friday, November 23, 2012

Allhoff on nonlethal weapons

Fritz Allhoff has an interesting post on the "paradox" of nonlethal weaponry. Meaning, that the existing rules governing war sometimes make it legally easier for a state to kill someone than to temporarily injure them. Worth reading.
(H/T prophilosophy)

Discussion on Rockets and Ethics

The Philosophers Magazine blog, Talking Philosophy, has a post on rockets and ethics which has generated some discussion.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sovereignty and cyberthreats

I want to throw out the following question: Does hacking into another country's computer infrastructure violate their sovereignty in the same way that sending a surveillance drone to spy or sending in a spy to spy or sending in military personnel to conduct a mission violate that country's sovereignty? Israel warded off about 44 million attempts to hack into various government and military sites since the beginning of its current military operation. Does that mean that it warded off 44 million attempts to infiltrate its borders? My intuition is that this case shows that we need a new more nuanced definition of sovereignty and its violation. I suspect that Israel could not successfully make a case that it is in any real sense under siege from 44 million sources and is now justified in treating thousands of people as anti-Israel terrorists with the moral justification to attack them. Nonetheless, there is still a sense in which Israel was attacked and her sovereignty was violated.

Banning autonomous drones?

There is a campaign by a start up human rights group to ban autonomous drones. Stories here and here, and as is often the case, /.  has a good discussion. 

Might a privatized military have ethical advantages?

The principled case for a privatized military for humanitarian interventions, by Deane-Peter Baker and James Pattison. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Improving the drone debate

The Monkey Cage, a great political science blog, has a good post on how to clarify the debate about drone strikes. (Omar Bashir's post is so good, it could have been written by a philosopher ;)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Speaking of ethics. . .

As this NY Times piece brings to the front, there have been quite a few ethics lapses of late.

Are there any lessons philosophers or those who deal with military ethics can learn from this? Are any of these even interesting as case studies?

McMahan Part II

Here is part II of McMahan's Opinionator piece in the NY Times.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Drone discussion

The philosopher Robert Paul Wolff is wondering what is wrong with drones (when Obama uses them). 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

McMahan in the Opinionator

Jeff McMahan, one of the foremost military ethicists working today has a piece in today's Opinionator blog of the New York Times. The Opinionator is a forum for philosophers to write about contemporary philosophical issues. McMahan is writing in honor of Veterans Day. Surprisingly I agree with much of what he says. When he completes part II tomorrow, I will post the link and try to comment.