Military Ethics and Leadership
Most books and articles still treat leadership and ethics as related though separate phenomena. This edited volume is an exception to that rule, and explicitly treats leadership and ethics as a single domain. Clearly, ethics is an aspect of leadership, and not a distinct approach that exists alongside other approaches to leadership. This holds especially true for the for the military, as it is one of the few organizations that can legitimately use violence. Military leaders have to deal with personnel who have either used or experienced violence. This intertwinement of leadership and violence separates military leadership from leadership in other professions. Even in a time that leadership is increasingly questioned, it is still good leadership that keeps soldiers from crossing the thin line between legitimate force and excessive violence
The article investigates different approaches to theoretical grounding of humanitarian intervention. Firstly conception of intervention offered by Walzer, who is known to be an advocate of unilateralism, is examined. For him states should be proactive and decisive in cases when human rights are violated somewhere. Schmitt’s arguments counter military actions in the name of moral issues are considered as well; while Schmitt’s ideal of politics as a sphere free of moral impurities seems to be imperfect. Multilateralism is proposed as alternative for Walzer’s and Schmitt’s approaches - humanitarian intervention may be justified as measure initiated by supra-state body.
Victory is a military success combined with prudent motives, virtuous means and sublime goals. The contemporary war of the global sovereign may be a success, but hardly ever victory. This is an asymmetric war, which has little to do with fortitude, courage or honour. In addition, this war is progressively motivated by fear, hubris and greed and the goals of this perpetual war are not about bringing peace. We are witnessing a war, disenchanted not only in terms of means, but in terms of goals and motives, which makes it unwinnable, with ethical consequences for military leadership yet unknown.