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Ethics and Military Strategy in the 21st Century: Moving Beyond Clausewitz

Ethics and Military Strategy in the 21st Century: Moving Beyond Clausewitz

by George Lucas, Jr.


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This book examines the importance of "military ethics" in the formulation and conduct of contemporary military strategy.

Clausewitz’s original analysis of war relegated ethics to the side-lines in favor of political realism, interpreting the proper use of military power solely to further the political goals of the state, whatever those may be. This book demonstrates how such single-minded focus no longer suffices to secure the interest of states, for whom the nature of warfare has evolved to favor strategies that hold combatants themselves to the highest moral and professional standards in their conduct of hostilities. Waging war has thus been transformed in a manner that moves beyond Clausewitz’s original conception, rendering political success wholly dependent upon the cultivation and exercise of discerning moral judgment by strategists and combatants in the field. This book utilizes a number of perspectives and case studies to demonstrate how ethics now plays a central role in strategy in modern armed conflict.

This book will be of much interest to students of just war, ethics, military strategy, and international relations.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781138731073
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 07/23/2019
Series: War, Conflict and Ethics
Pages: 236
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.19(h) x (d)

About the Author

George Lucas is Professor Emeritus at the U.S. Naval Academy and Naval Postgraduate School, and currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at the Naval Academy. Lucas is author of Ethics and Cyber Warfare (2017) and Military Ethics: What Everyone Needs to Know (2016), and editor of the Routledge Handbook of Military Ethics (2015).

Table of Contents


1. On War (Zum Krieg)

2. Inconvenient Truths

3. "This is Not your Father’s War"

4. What is "just war" discourse?

5. The Principle of Last Resort

6. The Case for Preventive War

7. Jus ante and post bellum

8. Advice and Dissent

9. Armed Humanitarian Intervention

10. Forgetful Warriors


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