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Asymmetric Warfare And Morality: From Moral Asymmetry To Amoral Symmetry?

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Chapter Summary

Because the non-combatants seem to be especially vulnerable in wars involving unconventional forces, in this chapter, the author develops a comparative moral argument. First, he looks into the reasons put forward to defend non-combatant immunity in a paradigmatic warfare scenario (war involving only conventional armed forces). Secondly, the analysis focuses on whether the non-combatant immunity arguments developed within a paradigmatic context maintain their moral force in a non-paradigmatic scenario (war involving conventional and unconventional forces). Contrary to the paradigmatic scenario, there is no confrontation here between two equal collective entities. On the one hand, there is a sovereign political community, on the other hand a non-state actor operating from the territory of a neighboring state. This confrontational asymmetry has some important implications when it comes to arguing non-combatant immunity.

Keywords: amoral symmetry; asymmetric warfare; moral asymmetry; non-combatant immunity; sovereign political community



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