Friday, August 19, 2005

Teaching Morality In Modern Warfare

What's the best way to teach 18 year old new recruits how to make proper moral decisions in the heat of battle? Show them clips of Platoon. Apparently the most up to date army training program in Israel involves showing clips of classic army movies and having voice overs that tell the soldiers that these actions are wrong.

An interesting article by Amos N. Guiora details the training program all IDF recruits go through. He notes that modern warfare is qualitatively different from the wars of the past because today civilians and combatants are indistinguishable. Combatants go not wear insignias as required by the Third Geneva Convention, so soldiers are put at a huge disadvantage. Soldiers must make a split section decision whether the approaching Palestinian in jeans and a T-Shirt is a threat or just asking if he can pass.

At the very least his article lays out the dilemmas facing every soldier and commander in the IDF.

(Hat Tip: Legal Theory Blog)

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