- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: University Press of Kansas; Second edition (May 31, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0700613218
- ISBN-13: 978-0700613212
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 136 g
- Customer reviews: Be the first to review this item
Moral Issues in Military Decision Making Paperback – 31 May 2004
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"A clear, concise, and cogent study of the professional military ethic in a time of great international turmoil. Hartle writes perceptively about the kinds of contemporary crises in which officers must provide both military and moral leadership. A valuable and illuminating study that deserves a wide audience. Warmly recommended!"--James H. Toner, author of True Faith and Allegiance: The Burden of Military Ethics
"In an age much concerned with entitlements, it is refreshing to have Hartle's powerful meditation on obligations and responsibilities, selflessness and service to others, and the core values of the American military profession."--Lewis Sorley, author of Honorable Warrior: General Harold K. Johnson and the Ethics of Command
"A splendid discussion of the basic justification for the role of the military in American society."--David Johnson, professor of philosophy at the U.S. Naval Academy and civilian member of the Executive Board of the Joint Services Conference on Professional Ethics
"Must reading for the military professional. . . . Hartle provides fascinating case studies, structured around combat scenarios, that force the reader to confront dilemmas faced by military professionals. He reminds us that American national policy and performance are rife with inconsistencies that make it very difficult for military personnel to act in a moral way. He discusses Watergate, the international arms buildup, and Iranscam, and delineates the confusion such events engender in members of the military."--The Friday Review of Defense Literature
About the Author
Colonel Anthony E. Hartle is chair of the English Department at West Point and a long-time member of the Executive Board of the Joint Services Conference on Professional Ethics.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Hartle tries his best to make the book applicable. The last chapters are filled with contemporary scenarios based on modern day military ethical challenges (up through 2005). The author doesn't claim to have all the answers to every ethical challenge. Instead, after laying the groundwork through his exploration of international treaties, the Just War Tradition (JWT) and even sources of American ethics (to include principles of freedom, democracy and human rights), the scenarios walk the reader through a cohesive decision matrix.
There is no hard and fast answer to moral decision making in every military scenario, especially in light of technology that constantly outpaces JWT development. The temptation on the one hand, would be to throw in the towel and accept additional collateral damage encouraging the non-normative view of warfare. Hartle doesn't allow this. If anything, Hartle highlights the need for more quick-thinking, creative and bold military leaders, willing to study in-depth the changing nature of war.
Victory in warfare, in the long and short term, is not for the morally void or ethically ignorant. Victory in battle can be produced through indiscriminate targets but victory in war requires ethical maneuver beyond the gun-sights alone.