Drones and Targeted Killings: Facing the Challenges of Unlimited Executive Power
22 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2015 Last revised: 24 Jun 2015
Date Written: 2015
Teaching morality is difficult; it is amorphous, with unclear “curriculum.” Nevertheless, it is essential that commanders — senior and junior, alike — actively engage in studying, training and implementing morality. Failure to do so directly, has powerful deleterious consequences from multiple perspectives, including operational counterterrorism, unit morale, public perception and the oft-referred to “hearts and minds” of the civilian population. The recognition that morality is essential to effective military decision making, has been increasingly recognized by commanders, however, that is not enough. The extraordinary importance of morality must be clearly articulated to non-military personnel, engaged in operational counterterrorism. After all, civilian agencies are actively engaged in targeting decisions and their implementation. Under no condition can their civilian status grant them a “deferment” from implementing principles of morality. To not enforce strict morality standards on all units and personnel, involved in operational counterterrorism, suggests that the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, may well be a train headed toward the nation-state. Morality is that important; not teaching it is just that dangerous.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation