oa Scientia Militaria : South African Journal of Military Studies - The Ethics of War : Classic and Contemporary Readings, Gregory M. Reichberg, Hendrik Syse and Endre Begby (eds.) : book review

Volume 34, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1022-8136
  • E-ISSN: 2224-0020



In no uncertain way have the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent attacks in Madrid and London, the War on Terror depicted by Afghanistan and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the subsequent insurgency in Iraq, and the 2006 war in the Middle East moved matters of ethics and justice in war back to centre stage. How justifiable are the actions by the USA, Israel, Hezbollah and al Qaeda to go to war? If justified, how ethical are their actions in the execution of their version of warfare against their opponents? Subjective and nationalistic or ideological opinions even further complicate matters. In addition, the interstate profile of war collapsed into an intrastate phenomenon with a humanitarian crisis profile where the suffering of innocent victims, rather than soldiers, personifies the violence and destruction. If ever the boundaries of war needed to be reinstated and the conduct of war redirected by justice and ethics, the early 21st century presents a case in point.

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