Ethics JointForces Paper Assignment

Ethics JointForces Paper  Assignment Words: 2174

Militar y and damaged its integrity in the eyes of the world. Prominent ethical transgressions in the forc e’s highest ositions have even compromised internal trust, which is a unifying element of the military profession and essential to the chain of command. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, has called for a renewed commitment to the Prof ession of Arms that emphasizes trust and leadership, and is defined by ethics, standards of e xcellence, code of conduct, and professional values that sustain the Joint Forc???s commitment to the rule of law (Dempsey 2012a; 2014).

Prior to stepping down as Secretary of Defense, Secr etary Chuck Hagel added to this traditional, topdown approach to cultivating military ethic by appointing a senior general officer to serve as an Ethics Czar for the forces and stem the ti de of these growing ethical issues (Garamone 2014a; 2014b). It is important to recognize, howeve r, that ethical transgressions are merely visible symptoms; the Joint Force must equip itself to better understand and defend against their root causes.

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This effort should combine topdown methods that leverage the talents Of top senior officers with a more bottomup approac h that taps into the vital support and perspectives of military members at lower levels. 4 As the u S. Armed Forces strive to address underlying ethical concerns, this e ffort must also be framed in an increasingly expansive, multinational environment that s shared by international allies and partner nation forces.

General Dempseys (201 2b: 6) C apstone Concept for the future of Joint Operations emphasized that ‘globally integrated operati ons place a premium on partnering. While military operations exist within a broader con stellation of national powers, which also rely on other governmental and nongovernment al organizations, indigenous cultures, and regional stakeholders, a critical element of globally i tegrated operations is the Joint Force’s ability to integrate effectively with partner milita ries.

At their core, these partnerships are founded on military ethics. As a result, military c ommanders, and indeed all members of the Profession of Arms, are faced with many realworld challenges inherent to the complex nature of military ethics: How does one define a gen eral professional ethic In a multicultural force? What causes individuals to behave unethically i n a profession that relies So heavily on ethics and standards Of conduct? What tangible methods might develop and romote military ethics effectively?

We aim to address these growing issues, and contribute to the military ethics domain, by offering perspectives and potential solutions fo r the Joint Force within a broader multinational environment. First, we delineate the scope of military ethics and its role in the Joint Force. N ext, we highlight some of the psychological and situational factors that impact ethical military conduct. Finally, we draw from the theoretical literature on ethics to propose practical approaches for training and developing military ethics.

Ultimately, to function as a unified Pr fession of Arms, the Joint Force must employ a more balanced, bottomup approach that reinfo rces support and 5 accountability, increases awareness of cognitive processes, and overcomes th e influence of situational factors in order to cultivate universal military ethics in a multinatio nal environment. THE SCOPE OF MILITARY ETHICS In an effort focus the diverse subject of military ethics, Cook and Syse (201 0: 1 20121) offered that ‘Military ethics is a species of the genus “professional ethics”. 11t exists to be of service to professionals who are not themselves specialists in ethics but who ave to carry out the tasks entrusted to the profession as honorably and correctly as possible. It is analogous to medical ethics or legal ethics in the sense that its core function is to assist tho se professions to think through the moral challenges and dilemmas inherent in their profession al activity and, by helping members of the profession better understand the ethical demands u pon them, to enable and motivate them to act appropriately in the discharge of their professional obligations’.

While ethics draws from the lessons of history and theoretical discussions of moral philosophy and heology, Cook and Syse argued that military ethics must have a much more p ractical focus centered on the applied Profession of Arms. Distinguish between ethical and moral What is ethics, what are morals? and are these terms mutually exclusive or synonymous? More importantly, how does ethics and morals apply to the Join t Force, as a Profession of arms?

Evidence shows individuals, groups and academic discipli nes often use these terms interchangeably (Gillian, 1 998), while others argue, ethics and mo rals are distinctly different. Vice Admiral Rondeau, delivered a speech in 201 1, at the National Defense University, topic of discussion, the Joint Force and military ethics. Ad miral Rondeau determines there are distinct differences between ethics and morals , and how it is 6 applied to the Joint Force. The Admiral discusses how ethics is succinctly con nected to military culture, based on it’s Greek origin ethos, referring to ethics, as one’s c ultural, one’s identity.

Admiral Rondeau frames ethics as as a fundamental cultural b elief, a basic understanding by individuals, interpreted, translated, and ultimately applied. The Admiral believes culture is the basis however, the application is morals and p tting it into practice is the challenge because it is predicated on the individual service me mber ot the culture of their service in which he or she belongs. The Admiral asks her audi ence a rhetorical question, “what does ethics mean to me personally and culturally (s (Rondeau 2011)?

It is that level of understanding that provides the individual a framework to shapes his or her own personal morals. Admiral Rondeau aligns morals wit h the actions an individual would take when faced with dilemmas surrounding moral accou ntability, moral responsibility, and moral courage. On the contrary, (Gillian 2007) views ethics and morals as closely related, with several terms that naturally come into discussi on as essential to gaining a clear and comprehensive understanding of the ethical environme nt and acceptable standards of conduct.

He suggest that ethics and morals come fro m a similar vein and are used interchangeably when referring to specific actions, such as behavior, customs, and codes for an individual or specific professional groups (individu al services). The related term Gillian believes is essential, linking ethics to morals as interc hangeable is alues and virtues. He deems both values and virtues as a vital characteristic s of ethics and morals, necessary when comprehending and developing a focused view of on e’s conduct (Gillian 2008).

Despite the previous arguments and many interpretations of e thics vs. morals, for the purpose of this article, most of its framework will be derived fr om (Cook 7 and Syse, 2010). The use of philosophical definitions is necessary to shape th e importance of ethics, morals, and ethical standards. The Cambridge dictionary of Philosophy, (Audi, 1 995) defines ethics as ‘the philosophical study of morality.

While (Runes, 1971) the dictionary of Philoso phy defines ethics as the study of “or discipline which concerns itself with judgments of a pproval and disapproval, judgments as to the rightness or wrongness, goodness or badne ss, virtue or vice, desirability or wisdom of actions, dispositions, ends, objects or states of affairs. ” Furthermore, military ethics is viewed as a comprehensive set of codes and st andards, both written and verbal. These comprehensive codes and standards are adopted t o inspire trust and mutual sense of respect between two parties,commonly referred to as et ical standards (Krulak, 2007).

Identify ethical standards as a profession of arms… that we need to operate as a joint force Respectively, the international community recognizes several nations’ armed f orces; they are accepted as operational militaries, who perform combat actions in th international arena. These military professionals by law are required to adhe re to certain policies governing conduct such as, status of forces agreements (SOFA), speci fied rules of engagement (ROE), the Law Of Armed Conflict (LOAC), and specified articles g overning the Geneva Convention.

In other words, the armed forces are required to co mply with the establish ethical standards (Cook, 2000). The LOAC is a critical tool and fundamental component of military ethics, understood by professional as ethical standards adhered to during war. Most true 8 professions operate under a body of laws unique to their profession, giving b 0th permissions and restraints to the profession, (Cook and Syse, 2010).

Ata mini mum, professionals at every level need a good working knowledge of that body of la Furthermore, since the technology and practice of the use of military power is continually hanging and evolving, the law necessarily lags behind and requires reinterpr etation so as to remain relevant and useful in guiding that changing activity. So, exploratio ns of the limits of current legal guidance, and proposals for modification of law to be re levant to changing patterns of military practice, make a practical contribution to the bo dy of professional military ethics, Cook and Syse (2010: 120).

Equally important to the laws that govern the professional are the ethical stan dards they must conform to that are viewed as universal. universal ethical standard s consist of bserver loyalty, recognition, and obedience to sovereign political authorities, (Huntington, 1957). Top officials and senior leaders are responsible to ensure all personne I have a clear fundamental understanding as directed by policy(s), related to the scope and application of ethical standards. The U. S. ilitary forces Service Chiefs and Senior leaders s tress the importance of ethics, moral, virtues and ethical standards as an inherent resp onsibility, not inclusive to top level senior leadership, but paramount to every member of th e armed forces (Dempsey, 2014). In fact, ethical codes that govern the Joint Force are erived from universally accepted values, virtues, treaties and international obligations. W hile universally accepted militaries are perceived as a ‘nations sword’ on one hand they are simultaneously identified as a ‘nations shield’ on the other (Toner, 2007, pp. 1 851 86).

This analogy supports the theme that a nation’s military force fight its’ nation’s war s, as well as, 9 ensures societal, political, and diplomatic ends are met under the aspice that the fighting force will execute orders with respect to the ethical code and behave within m orally accepted norms (Toner, 2007). These universally recognized themes are part f a larger analytical perspective that introduces the ‘warrior code’ of virtues which celest ially accepts the basic standards of conduct, as concepts that represent honor, courage, co mmitment, loyalty, and most important humanity (French 2003: 15) .

When the Joint Forc e does not adhere to globally accepted ethical standards, the potential for diplomatic, po litical, or economic long term consequences is imminent and can take years to overco “Good people can be induced, seduced, and initiated into behaving in evil way s. They can also be led to act in irrational, stupid, selfdestructive, antisocial, and mindless way when they are immersed in total situations’ that impact the ethical decision making process and human nature in ways that challenge our sense of the stability and consistency of indi vidual personality, of character, and of morality. Professor Philip Zimbardo The Joint Force both present and past continue to be challenged with moral dilemmas relative to ethical standards; the conduct, akin to individuals and un its in garrison, and their missteps during the fog of war, continue to be called into q uestion (Weintgartner, 2007). There are several historical examples to explore, howe ver two orth noting and studied today are the massacres of Biscari, WWII Massacre and events that took place during Vietnam at My Lal. In both cases ethical standard, virtu es, morals, and values are disregarded.

Hundreds of innocent civilians and surrendering sold iers, women, children, and town elders were slaughter, executed, and raped, by U. S. armed forces . Weintgartner argues that senior leadership during both massacres ar e ultimately 10 responsible for the atrocities based on the ‘commander intent’ and potential ‘ strategic messaging. Prior to the massacre of Biscari, General Patton’s specifically stat d to the forces, “When we meet the enemy we will kill him, we will show him no mercy, he has killed thousands of your comrades and he must die”.

No mention of uncondit ional surrender, treatment of innocent civilian, or ethical direction was given. Altho ugh, policys, ROE, and the LOAC was in place, it was not reinforced at any level. W as the commander’s message perceived as literal, which translated onto the battlefie ld? or was this strategic messaging in an effort to get the enemy capitulate his forces out fear? Were the atrocities committed at Biscari predicated upon this statement alone, as d epicted uring the accused trial? or was unethical human behavior and the lack of mo rals, virtues, and respect for LOAC the case?

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