Dr. Martin Cook, US Naval War College, Dr. Chris Eberle, US Naval Academy, Midshipman Andrea Howard and Midshipman Eric Swanson discuss the ethics and Just War curricula at the U.S. Naval Academy and the Naval War College. Dr. Cook presently teaches what has come to be known as the “Stockdale Course”, which is based upon the Book “Foundations of Moral Obligation” written by Gerard Brennan, with the help of Admiral Stockdale. The course has been offered by the War College since the days of Admiral Stockdale’s tenure there. Dr. Eberle discussed the Ethics and Moral Reasoning course that is required study for all midshipmen during their 3rd class year. Midshipmen Howard and Swanson reflected on that course and made suggestions as to how it could be refined and tailored, to be responsive to all service selections, and expanding the units dealing with jus in bello issues that junior officers are likely to face in the Navy.
Stockdale Center research fellows, Dr. Ed Barrett, Dr. David Luban and Dr. Jessica Wolfendale discuss their takeaways from a year of careful reading and analysis of classic texts in the Just War tradition. Dr. Luban discusses how the large wars of the twentieth century affected thought on the first use of force or ‘preemptive’ or ‘anticipatory’ force. Falling under the ‘just cause’ condition of traditional theory, he argues that the significant restrictions placed upon such moves has, by and large, been a positive development. The discussion revolves around the related notion of immediacy and immanence of threat. Dr. Wolfendale examines the criterion of “right intention” and argues that the work it does toward jus ad bellum sifting is redundant, mirroring proportionality criteria. It is also unclear how to apply the criterion to complex entities such as states and armies. Dr. Barrett discusses the doctrine of double effect and its relationship to virtue ethics and the causal, epistemic and other relationships between acts of violence that bring about the death of innocents as an unintended but foreseen consequenc
In this wide ranging panel, Dr. Mitt Regan, Georgetown Law, discusses the evolution of the question of whether punishment can be a just cause for war; Dr. Joseph Capizi, Catholic University of America, considers jurisdictional and sovereignty questions on just use of force; Dr. Marcus Hedahl, U.S. Naval Academy, examines the pedagogical use of the individualist or domestic analogy for the ethics of war; Dr. Ashleen Bagnulo, Furman University, discusses the centrality of the jus ad bellum criterion of proper authority and considers modern challenges for that criteria that arise from the existence of supra-national organizations such as the U.N., deeply divided but representative democracies and non-state actors; Dr. Michael Skerker, USNA, considers the question of whether the motives or nature of a state affect the moral status of any combatants from that state, as regards their rights in combat, or obligations.