Cover image for Moral issues in military decision making
Moral issues in military decision making
Hartle, Anthony E., 1942-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lawrence, Kan. : University Press of Kansas, [1989]

Physical Description:
180 pages ; 24 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


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U22 .H38 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The author questions whether the military can be expected to follow a set of moral precepts when the situations they face lie outside the ethical and legal rules of society. The aim of this book is to demonstrate that there is an uncodified military ethic.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Hartle (philosophy, US Military Academy, West Point) argues what amounts to a simple but vital thesis: "Within the context of the role of the American professional soldier, the choice {{of action}} that is morally correct is also professionally correct." This short book examines the military as a profession, although it adds little to the renowned studies of Samuel Huntington (The Soldier and the State, 1957), whom Hartle liberally quotes, and the late Morris Janowitz (The Professional Soldier, 1960). The author offers chapters on the nature of professional ethics and of American military philosophy, both explained in his compact analyses of the laws of war and of the American national character. He concludes with six hypothetical case studies that attempt to root his theoretical observations in the soil of "actual" circumstances. Too short for a book, too long for a journal piece, Hartle's effort is nonetheless readable and stimulating. It complements well Richard Gabriel's similar effort, To Serve With Honor (CH, Nov '82), although Hartle and Gabriel would agree on few particulars. The notes and bibliography are useful. Libraries serving upper-division undergraduate students of the military and of national security policy will find this book to be a wise investment. -J. H. Toner, Norwich University