Didactics of Military Ethics

From Theory to Practice


The Iron Curtain fell over a quarter of a century ago. With it fell also the relatively straightforward Western assumption that war was going to be a bi-polar, symmetrical affair, albeit one with nuclear overtones - an assumption around which the training and education of military officers had hitherto been built. The immediate post Cold War period showed officers wearing a blue, rather than a green helmet, negotiating with opponents whom they ought not to call enemies and keeping the peace in situations where there was no peace to keep. Added to this was the phenomenon of international terrorism, which manifested itself on the strategic, rather than merely the tactical level. Counter-insurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate how difficult it is to win the hearts and minds of the local population while subduing the enemy at the same time. With the distinction between what is morally right and wrong becoming ever more blurred, the moral dilemmas of officers and men have begun to multiply and the need to reconsider the basic assumptions and practices of military ethics education in this highly unpredictable world has become ever more urgent. This volume, arising out of a conference held at the Centre for Leadership Development and Civic Education of the German Armed Forces, attempts to address that need. It offers the insights both of officers with combat experience and academics closely familiar with military training, and uniquely bridges the gap between theory and practice in the teaching of military ethics.

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Thomas R. Elßner, Dr. theol. habil., is professor of theology and exegesis of the old testament at the Philosophic-Theological University of Vallendar; Catholic military chaplain and ethics lecturer at the Zentrum für innere Führung (Leadership Development and Civic Education Centre) of the German Armed Forces in Koblenz.

Reinhold Janke, MA Colonel (GS) is head of the section for “concept and further development” at the Zentrum für innere Führung (Leadership Development and Civic Education Centre) of the German Armed Forces in Koblenz.
From Theory to Practice: The Short Long Path Thomas R. Elßner and Reinhold Janke;
Discours d’introduction de la 4ème conférence annuelle d’Euro-isme Benoit Royal;
Introduction to the 4th Annual Conference Euro-isme Benoit Royal;
List of Contributors;
1 Responsibility Towards Myself and My Conscience: Leadership Responsibility between Ethics and Purpose Jürgen Weigt;
2 Didactics of Military Ethics: From Theory to Practice Thomas R. Elßner;
3 ‘What I Have Learned’ George Lober;
4 Ethics and the Changing Character of War Martin L. Cook;
5 Why Address the ‘E’-Word in Military Ethics Education?: The Role of Emotions in Moral Judgement and Decision-Making Desiree Verweij;
6 Values - Attitude - Education: Military Ethics Education Formats at zebis Veronika Bock and Kristina Tonn;
7 Menschengerechte Soldaten – Soldatengerechte Ethikausbildung: Am Beispiel der Unteroffiziersausbildung im Österreichischen Bundesheer Stefan Gugerel;
8 Moral Judgement in War and Peacekeeping Operations: An Empirical Review Femke D.A. den Besten, Ellen Giebels, Miriam C. de Graaff and Desiree E.M. Verweij ;
9 Explaining Military Ethics to Young People: Role and Teaching Methods of Youth Information Officers Moritz Brake;
10 Ethics of War as a Part of Military Ethics Jovan Babic;
11 Leadership for Mere Mortals Timothy T. Lupfer;
12 Less Lethal Weapons in Military Operations Patrice Mompeyssin;
13 A Dichotomy of Conflicting Duties Jeff Montrose;
14 Conveying Ideas and Values in Education! Challenges in Teaching Military Ethics Edwin R. Micewski;
15 Sound Moral Psychology behind Ethics Education Florian Demont;
16 Legitimacy of Military Deployments Especially in Asymmetric Conflicts Hartwig von Schubert;
17 Attitudes of Military Academy Cadets on Code of Honour of the Serbian Army Zoran Jeftic, Vanja Rokvić and Svetlana Stanarevic;
Index of Names; Index of Subjects.
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