The ethics of civilian casualties

As soldiers, children are often considered the most expendable: Newspapers did note the U. The difficulties of controlling the violence of air power made common and widespread unintended harm plausible.

The first and second protocols, which related to the protection of victims of international and non-international armed conflicts respectively, each included the provision: Firebombing and the widespread harm to Korean civilians would only come after a process of escalation and dramatic setbacks for United Nations forces in the fall of Thus, by the absolutist view, only enemy combatants can be attacked.

Navy admirals attacked their Air Force colleagues in a dramatic set of Congressional hearings. Beyond the growing importance of intention in defining legitimate uses of force in war, it is much more challenging to assess the legacy of the rise of bombing after World War II on norms because of the changing nature of conflicts the United States fought after Korea, and the unavailability of crucial sources.

Because of the difficulties with controlling the violence of modern weaponry, the focus on intention gained great significance in moral justification, and this focus helped rationalize, along with the obscure moral principle of double effect, unintended harm and contributed to a complacent stance toward the terrible human cost of collateral damage.

A January 2, release, labeled the six-month "box score," placed the Navy total for buildings destroyed at 3, They almost never advocated publicly or privately, within the armed forces or outside them, the purposeful targeting of civilian populations as such.

For four years after World War II, it was difficult to tell from what Americans said publicly that they had not abandoned the custom of sparing civilians in war.

Command adopted a policy of the purposeful destruction of cities in enemy hands. However, conscious of the snares of hypocrisy, none of the tribunals prosecuted any of the defendants for promiscuous bombing of civilians.

Stratemeyer had asked for the authorization of an attack "over the widest area of the city, without warning, by burning and high explosive," but he was willing to settle for an attack only against "military targets in the city, with high explosive, with warning.

In Somalia, half or more of all children under age five who were alive on 1 January were dead by the end of the year.

Civilian casualties

Mistakes could be made, but these occurred under unusual circumstances such as in combat at night or in fog. Finally, while normative beliefs about bombing civilians are the hardest to assess, Americans have come to accept the idea that bombing behind the frontlines with the goal of disarming was an effective and acceptable method of fighting even while they remained hotly divided over attacks on urban areas.

Stratemeyer wrote in his diary that the "gist" of these instructions was: Stratemeyer offered no direct military justification for the attack but instead argued that Sinuiju could be used as the capital of North Korea once Pyongyang was evacuated, which would provide more legitimacy to the communist government than if it were a refugee government on foreign soil.

Civilian casualties present particular difficulties. Each soldier was trained to fight to the death and was expected to die before suffering dishonor. He argued that a limited killing of noncombatants might be justified by the military advantage gained through the destruction of a crucial military target.

The instructions from Washington for the U. Of more than major conflicts since the Second World War, have been fought in the developing world. At the end of the war, only 52, were repatriated to Java. New weapons and patterns of conflict that include deliberate attacks against civilians are increasingly turning children into primary targets of war.

In an ethical war, whom can you fight?

Although the Fourth Geneva Convention attempted to erect some legal defenses for civilians in time of warthe bulk of the Fourth Convention devoted to explicating civilian rights in occupied territoriesand no explicit attention is paid to the problems of bombardment and the hazardous effects in the combat-zone.

As wars take on an ethnic, tribal or fratricidal cast, civilians and their children may find themselves the objects of genocidal violence. The president insisted that some restrictions were necessary in the instructions. Stimson assured the public:The Operation Meetinghouse raid on Tokyo on the night of 9/10 March stands as the deadliest air raid in human history, killingcivilians and destroying 16 square miles (41 km 2) of the city that night, which caused more civilian deaths and damage to urbanized land than any other single air attack, including the atomic bombings of.

Debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Jul 15,  · Mr. Plaw considered four studies of drone deaths in Pakistan that estimated the proportion of civilian victims at 4 percent, 6 percent, 17 percent and 20 percent respectively.

But even the high-end count of 20 percent was considerably lower than the rate in other settings, he found. Civilian casualties occurs in a general sense, when civilians are killed or injured by non-civilians, mostly law enforcement officers, military personnel, Ethics.

Many modern nations' views on the ethics of civilian casualties align with the Just War theory. Civilian casualties is a military term describing civilian persons killed, injured, or imprisoned by military action.

Civilian casualties can be associated with the outcome of any form of military action regardless of whether civilians were targeted directly or not.

Recommended citation: Sahr Conway-Lanz, "The Ethics of Bombing Civilians After World War II: The Persistence of Norms Against Targeting Civilians in the Korean War," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol.

12, Issue 37, No. 1, September 15, Civilians are now the target In Chechnya, between February and Maychildren made up an appalling 40 per cent of all civilian casualties; Red Cross workers found that children's bodies bore marks of having been systematically executed with a bullet through the temple.

In Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, almost one child in four has.

The ethics of civilian casualties
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