Teaching Morality in Armed Conflict - the Israel Defence Forces Model
Amos N. Guiora
University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law
August 1, 2005
Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 05-24
The traditional concept of war between States has been replaced by armed conflict between States and non-State actors, some State supported. The non-State actors are terrorists who do not wear uniforms, have insignias nor carry their weapons openly as the Geneva Convention requires soldiers to do.
In the contemporary battlefield, civilians are omnipresent; they are dressed like the terrorist who in clear violation of international law, uses them as human shields.
The soldier, as required by international law, must distingiush between the combatant and the non-combatant. Furthermore, international law requires the soldier to make every effort to minimize collateral damage. In addition, soldiers must also conduct themselves morally in armed conflict.
In response to these twin obligations - international law and requirements of morality in armed conflict - the Israel Defence Forces developed an eleven point code of conduct based on international law, Israeli law and an IDF code. The code of conduct is taught via an interactive video developed by the IDF School of Military Law. The video includes clips from relevant Hollywood movies, high-tech graphics and scenarios taken from real-live events.
The article examines and analyzes how an army trains and educates its soldiers and junior commanders on issues related to international law and morality.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: Morality, Military Education, Responsibility, Commander, Role Model, Military Culture, International Law, Collateral Damage, Combatants
JEL Classification: K33
Date posted: August 16, 2005 ; Last revised: February 6, 2013