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The Moral Dimension Of Asymmetrical Warfare: Accountability, Culpability And Military Effectiveness

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Chapter Summary

Terrorism, guerrilla and partisan warfare are all forms of asymmetric warfare. Often our choice of terminology is value-laden. Regular forces that are the targets of irregulars terrorists, guerrillas or partisans then face the moral difficulty of distinguishing friend or more likely neutral from foe. Another new protagonist to add to the field is the suicide bomber. The environment of conflict in many new wars, both asymmetric and symmetric is further morally complicated by the presence of many protagonists whose motivation is greed and profit. British Military Doctrine understands military effectiveness in terms of fighting power, which is then understood to be composed of three components: Physical, conceptual and Moral. The potential impact of this development on British soldiers was a major focus of the concern expressed in the House of Lords in July 05.

Keywords: new protagonist; asymmetric warfare; British soldiers; partisan warfare; suicide bomber



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