In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

C H A P T E R 1 4 Just War and Military Education and Training Martin L. Cook COMBATING TERRORISM AND counterinsurgency warfare pose novel challenges to the system of professional military education and training. Indeed, the many dimensions of the changing nature of war is a theme that unites many of the chapters in this volume. Further, because, as the editors point out in their introduction to this volume, so much of just war theory in recent centuries has been formed in the context of state-centric ideas of authority, necessarily existing legal regimes fit the nature of some of these challenges poorly, if at all. Such changes will require the evolution and development of agreed-upon legal principles and approaches to military training as nations attempt to cope with somewhat novel challenges. Finally, procurement programs and policies (and the acquisition of new weapons systems, for that matter) will in all probability adopt significantly different trajectories from those they had been on when the guiding planning paradigm was large interstate and combined arms conflict. The Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) is integrated into military training and education in a number of ways at every level. As required by Geneva treaty obligations, annual training in the basic elements of LOAC is given to every member of the US military. All precommissioning military education programs (ROTC, the military academies, Officer Candidate School) integrate some education regarding the just war tradition into their curricula—both as training in the legal framework of LOAC and almost always in a philosophy course that includes just war as a central element. Some lectures and elective courses dealing with the just war tradition are a part of every level of professional military education in all the military services (command 251 252 Martin L. Cook and staff college for officers at the rank of O-3, and war colleges at the rank of O-4 and O-5). In theater, military lawyers (judge advocates general) assist commanders in ensuring compliance with provisions of LOAC through crafting of Rules of Engagement that make LOAC as concrete and specific to the environment as possible . Finally, in traditional combat environments, it is the special responsibility of the officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) to discipline and monitor the conduct of their units to ensure that their actions are within the bounds of LOAC. The kinds of conflicts in which the United States is now finding itself pose some real challenges to these models for ensuring LOAC compliance—both because of the size and nature of the operational units most typically employed and because of the nature of the environment of counterinsurgency war. Unlike conventional warfare conducted by platoons and companies under the direct supervision of officers and NCOs in clear force-on-force combat situations, counterterrorist strikes and counterinsurgency operations require different types of forces and different tactics and operational concepts. For the kinds of small unit engagements typical of counterinsurgency and counterterrorism warfare, the responsibility for that discipline devolves to lower and lower ranks, which poses additional challenges for military training and education. Direct action against terrorist leaders and cells will most typically be conducted covertly by small special forces units. Unlike a conventional force-on-force firefight, such units are inserted covertly and hope to kill or capture their targets and withdraw as quietly as possible and without detection. They attack their targets either by direct action by the unit itself or by the Joint Terminal Attack Controller’s (JTAC’s) orchestration of various air assets to strike the target. Direct action by the members of the unit necessarily requires each operator on the team to make split-second decisions and to exercise fire discipline if discrimination and proportionality are to be respected. Because such actions are inherently unpredictable and require each member of the team to react quickly and appropriately, the challenge of ensuring adherence to just war principles is far more subtle and complex than traditional military operations. Each operator has to deeply understand the principles and have the training, discipline, and ability to act accordingly under extreme stress and danger. In the case of attack from the air, the ground unit will observe the target in the attempt to ensure that only legitimate military targets are struck. Their embedded JTAC may augment their eyes-on intelligence with his Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver (ROVER) unit, which can see video feed from Predator, Reaper, and...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.