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If war is an intemporal reality of mankind, the ways and means it is conducted have nonetheless evolved through times thanks to new technologies and innovative military strategies. For the most part however, they have not challenged the ethical rules of warfare. But, are they keeping pace with the current technological evolutions and societal values? Indeed, the rapid rise in the use of automated weapons, the growing popularity of remotely controlled weapons, the development in soldiers’ enhancement technologies, of hybrid warfare and the impact of woman-man equality are all posing tremendous moral challenges affecting the traditional warrior ethos, the justification of killing and criminal responsibility. Based upon a selection of presentations made at the 2022 annual conference of the International society for Military Ethics in Europe (Euroisme), this book contains a variety of reflections about these questions.
Volume Editors: and
The Treaty of Lisbon has significantly enhanced the EU’s institutional framework and the instruments at its disposal in foreign policy and external relations, notably through the creation of the function of the High Representative, supported by the European External Action Service. Contributing to the maintenance of international peace and security is one of the core objectives of the EU’s external action. This volume, with contributions from legal experts on EU foreign policy and external relations, illustrates the manifold legal issues arising in EU external action and in its efforts to achieve this essential objective.
This volume addresses key ethical issues and challenges of modern urban warfare through ten chapters written by acclaimed experts from eight different countries and three continents. The foreword to the volume was written by Gen. (ret) Mart de Kruif, while Professor Hugo Slim wrote the Introduction.
In addition to providing the reader with the history of the intricate relationship between city and war, authors offer critical insights into the ethical problems arising from various dimensions of modern urban warfare: conflicting war narratives, imperative of victory, tactical and leadership specificities, use of non-lethal measures, international interventions, in bello peculiarities of urban warfare, introduction of new weapons and technologies, use of war games and simulations in training for urban warfare, and many more.

Summary

This chapter aims to explore the ethical tensions between the objections raised against the use of lethal autonomous weapons generally and the potential of lethal autonomous weapons to mitigate some of the key challenges of urban warfare. Our argument originates from the premise that the ethics of war is an ongoing negotiation between recognizing the necessity of war and minimising the destructiveness of war. If this is true then we argue that the ethics of using lethal autonomous weapons in urban warfare cannot be appropriately weighed without the ability to have a reasonable sense of what operational impact they are likely to have. To generate an understanding of this operational impact, the UNSW Canberra Future Operations Research Group conducted an experiment using a wargame-based methodology. We present the potential merit of wargaming as a tool for applied ethics research and go on to describe the project and outline its findings. We contend that these findings represent a significant contribution to this debate.

In: The Ethics of Urban Warfare
In: The Ethics of Urban Warfare

Summary

The paper discusses the relationship between city and war, from antiquity to modern conflicts. The permanence of the connection was especially emphasized with the metamorphoses in the appearance of the city caused by the war were also recognized, as well as the restrictions that the city places on military power. Dependence of the commander’s decisions on the specifics of urban warfare was considered. It was concluded that commander’s decisions always fall into the plane that passes through three points: imperative of victory, principle of avoiding unnecessary risk and moral conscience. In most cases, commanders have to balance between them considering many factors – political, sociological, economic, psychological and ethical.

In: The Ethics of Urban Warfare

Summary

The aim of this chapter is to highlight an ethical dilemma at the intersection of civilian harm and military capabilities. We ask what level of risk may morally be demanded of soldiers fighting in urban areas if use of wide area effect explosive weapons is to be avoided? The challenge is that buildings conceal and protect while exposing advancing forces to ambush. Civilian presence constrains firepower. Nevertheless, as attackers suffer increasing casualties, they revert to explosive firepower from necessity, causing civilian casualties and reverberative harm. While not intentional, this foreseeable consequence of ‘wide-area-effect’ explosive munitions presents a legal, moral and ethical challenge. Our paper explains why high explosive weapons have become the default and offers a legal overview before making an ethical comparison of ‘eviction’ alternatives including flame and chemical weapons. We argue that a possible way out of this dilemma involves the use of weapons such as direct fire explosive weapons on buildings.

In: The Ethics of Urban Warfare
Author:

Summary

The aim of this chapter is to examine what we are willing to make sacrifices for, and the lengths we are willing to go to in making them. It is a collection of observations about an ancient feature of armed conflict, what characterises it today, and against what context these measures should be measured. Using the ‘siege’, I look at the use of non-lethal and information-based measures, apply elements of just war thinking to the use of information-based and non-lethal measures, and challenge the principle of war as a last resort. Ultimately this chapter is a discussion of the ‘what is worse’ comparisons that have become very familiar in just war thinking, and could be challenged by a different moral approach.

In: The Ethics of Urban Warfare
In: The Ethics of Urban Warfare

Summary

NATO’s intervention in the Kosovo conflict and the events leading to the air strikes of the alliance in spring 1999 were the result of complex dynamics of political and military processes. My paper will use Germany’s role in the resolution of the Kosovo conflict as an example to shed light on some aspects that are very important for understanding the practice of international intervention. The first aspect explains how one gets drawn into such conflicts while the second aspect refers to the question of how the Kosovo conflict was negotiated between the various international actors. This approach may provide explanations with regard to the development and adoption of a ‘Responsibility to Protect’.

In: The Ethics of Urban Warfare