This blog is designed to generate discussion about ethics in war. I am a Marine, I belong to a fraternity of warriors. The Marine Corps is an organization that attempts to encourage a warrior ethos. An ethic, a strong ethic. A Marine is supposed to be fortified with the core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. The Marine is supposed to carry himself with a sense of dignity, a sense of chivalry. Unfortunately, in the course of war, this sense of chivalry, of the warrior ethos, is lost. This is a problem beyond the Marine Corps, beyond the front lines, it extends beyond the military, and into the civilian population, all the way up into the highest levels of our political system. We have hawks, and doves. Pacifists and warmongers. On both sides, profound confusion exists, as to what is ethical and right in warfare. As such, there is an urgent need for discussion about ethics in warfare. Not simply of what is legal, as what is legal may not be moral, and that which is illegal may not be immoral. My intent is bring light to this subject, as best I can, both as an academic, and as a practitioner of warfare and ethics.
Matt Walje is a Sergeant in the Marine Corps, and a Project Coordinator at Oceans Beyond Piracy. He is Sie Fellow and Master’s candidate at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.