•  258
    Academics working on military ethics and serving military personnel rarely have opportunities to talk to each other in ways that can inform and illuminate their respective experiences and approaches to the ethics of war. The workshop from which this paper evolved was a rare opportunity to remedy this problem. Our conversations about First Lieutenant (1LT) Portis’s experiences in combat provided a unique chance to explore questions about the relationship between oversight, accountability, and the…Read more
  •  81
    Rita Floyd’s The Morality of Security: A Theory of Just Securitization is an important and insightful book that delineates a theory of just securitization (modified from the jus ad bellum and jus in bello criteria in just war theory) involving three sets of principles governing the just initiation of securitization, just conduct of securitization, and just desecuritization. This book is a much- needed addition to the security studies and just war literature. Here, I apply Floyd’s just securitiza…Read more
  •  208
    Debates about terrorism and technology often focus on the potential uses of technology by non-state terrorist actors and by states as forms of counterterrorism. Yet, little has been written about how technology shapes how we think about terrorism. In this chapter I argue that technology, and the language we use to talk about technology, constrains and shapes our understanding of the nature, scope, and impact of terrorism, particularly in relation to state terrorism. After exploring the ways in w…Read more
  •  111
    Prison as a Torturous Institution
    Res Philosophica 97 (2): 297-324. 2020.
    Prison as a Torturous Institution Philosophers working on torture have largely failed to address the widespread use of torture in the U.S. prison system. Drawing on a victim-focused definition of torture, I argue that the U.S. prison system is a torturous institution in which direct torture occurs (the use of solitary confinement) and in which torture is allowed to occur through the toleration of sexual assault of inmates and the conditions of mass incarceration. The use and toleration of tortu…Read more
  •  1
    Self-control is integral to successful human agency. Without it we cannot extend our agency across time and secure central social, moral, and personal goods. But self-control is not a unitary capacity. In the first part of this paper we provide a taxonomy of self-control and trace its connections to agency and the self. In part two, we turn our attention to the external conditions that support successful agency and the exercise of self-control. We argue that what we call moral security is a crit…Read more
  •  37
    The Making of a Torturer
    In Suzanne C. Knittel & Zachary J. Goldberg (eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of Perpetrator Studies, . 2019.
    Liberal democracies who perpetrate torture represent an apparent paradox: a flagrant violation of human rights by states supposedly dedicated to protecting human rights. In liberal democracies, the political, social, and legal narratives used to justify torture portray torture as an individual act motivated by important moral values. This individualized torture narrative then shapes the moral framework through which the public, policy-makers, and individual torturers view torture, and masks the …Read more
  •  69
    Is Obedience a Virtue?
    In Michael Skerker, Donald G. Carrick & David Whetham (eds.), Military Virtues, Howgate Publishing Limited. pp. 62-69. 2019.
    In the United States, all military personnel swear to obey “the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me.” Military personnel must obey orders promptly in order to facilitate effective military functioning. Yet, obedience to orders has been associated with the commission of war crimes. Military personnel of all ranks have committed torture, rape, genocide, and murder under orders. “I was just following orders” (respondaet superior) is no long…Read more
  •  354
    The Torture Debate and the Toleration of Torture (review)
    Criminal Justice Ethics 38 138-152. 2019.
    One of the questions raised by this important and thought-provoking collection of essays on torture is how and why the consensus that torture is wrong - a consensus enshrined in international law for decade - has become so fragile. As Scott Anderson writes in the introduction to this volume, "how did abusing and torturing prisoners suddenly become so popular?” The chapters in this volume offer insights into this question from the perspectives of history, psychology, law, philosophy, and sociolog…Read more
  •  66
    In contemporary academic, political, and media discourse, terrorism is typically portrayed as an existential threat to lives and states, a threat driven by religious extremists who seek the destruction of Western civilization and who are immune to reason and negotiation. In many countries, including the US, the UK, and Australia, this existential threat narrative of terrorism has been used to justify sweeping counterterrorism legislation, as well as military operations and even the use of tactic…Read more
  •  28
    Why do war crimes occur? Are perpetrators of war crimes always blameworthy? In an original and challenging thesis, this book argues that war crimes are often explained by perpetrators' beliefs, goals, and values, and in these cases perpetrators may be blameworthy even if they sincerely believed that they were doing the right thing.
  •  130
    Defining War
    In Michael Gross & Tamar Meisels (eds.), Soft War: The Ethics of Unarmed Conflict, Cambridge University Press. pp. 16-32. 2017.
    In international law and just war theory, war is treated as normatively and legally unique. In the context of international law, war’s special status gives rise to a specific set of belligerent rights and duties, as well as a complex set of laws related to, among other things, the status of civilians, prisoners of war, trade and economic relationships, and humanitarian aid. In particular, belligerents are permitted to derogate from certain human rights obligations and to use lethal force in a fa…Read more
  •  18301
    Provocative Dress and Sexual Responsibility
    Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law 17 (2): 599-624. 2016.
    Numerous studies have found that many people believe that a provocatively dressed woman is at greater risk for sexual assault and bears some responsibility for her assault if she is attacked. Furthermore, in legal, academic, and public debates about sexual assault the appropriateness of the term ‘provocative’ as a descriptor of certain kinds of women’s clothing is rarely questioned. Thus, there is a widespread but largely unquestioned belief that it is appropriate to describe revealing or sugge…Read more
  •  255
    The Myth of" Torture Lite"
    Ethics and International Affairs 23 (1): 47-61. 2009.
    Although the term "torture lite" is frequently used to distinguish between physically mutilating torture and certain interrogation methods that are supposedly less severe, the distinction is not recognized in international law
  •  124
    Professional Integrity and Disobedience in the Military
    Journal of Military Ethics 8 (2): 127-140. 2009.
  •  5
  •  1
    Military Obedience
    In Igor Primoratz (ed.), Politics and Morality, Palgrave-macmillan. 2007.
  •  199
    Paternalism, Consent, and the Use of Experimental Drugs in the Military
    with S. Clarke
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 33 (4): 337-355. 2008.
    Modern military organizations are paternalistic organizations. They typically recognize a duty of care toward military personnel and are willing to ignore or violate the consent of military personnel in order to uphold that duty of care. In this paper, we consider the case for paternalism in the military and distinguish it from the case for paternalism in medicine. We argue that one can consistently reject paternalism in medicine but uphold paternalism in the military. We consider two well-known…Read more
  •  33
    What’s the Point of Teaching Ethics in the Military
    In Paul Robinson, Nigel de Lee & Don Carrick (eds.), Ethics Education in the Military, Ashgate. pp. 161--174. 2008.
  •  24
    New scientific advances have created previously unheard of possibilities for enhancing combatants' performance. Future war fighters may be smarter, stronger, and braver than ever before. If these technologies are safe, is there any reason to reject their use? In this article, I argue that the use of enhancements is constrained by the importance of maintaining the moral responsibility of military personnel. This is crucial for two reasons: the military's ethical commitments require military perso…Read more
  •  176
    The hardened heart: The moral dangers of not forgiving
    Journal of Social Philosophy 36 (3). 2005.
    When writing on forgiveness, most authors focus on when it is appropriate to forgive and the role that the offender’s attitudes play in determining the appropriateness of forgiveness. In this paper I will take a different approach. Instead of examining when forgiveness may or may not be appropriate, I discuss the moral attitude displayed by being unforgiving. I argue that we have reason to strive for forgiveness based on the kind of moral outlook we deplore in those who wrong us, and that we str…Read more
  •  160
    Moral Security
    Journal of Political Philosophy 25 (2): 238-255. 2017.
    In this paper, I argue that an account of security as a basic human right must incorporate moral security. Broadly speaking, a person possesses subjective moral security when she believes that her basic interests and welfare will be accorded moral recognition by others in her community and by social, political, and legal institutions in her society. She possesses objective moral security if, as a matter of fact, her interests and welfare are regarded by her society as morally important—for examp…Read more
  •  57
    New Wars and New Soldiers: Military Ethics in the Contemporary World (edited book)
    with Paolo Tripodi
    Ashgate. 2011.
    Bringing together contributors from philosophy, international relations, security studies, and strategic studies, New Wars and New Soldiers offers a truly interdisciplinary analysis reflective of the nature of modern warfare. This comprehensive approach allows the reader to see the broad scope of modern military ethics, and to understand the numerous questions about modern conflict that require critical scrutiny. Aimed at both military and academic audiences, this paperback will be of significan…Read more