Ethical Command Climate in War

1299 Words5 Pages
Ethical Command Climate in War Combating in modern warfare does not simply mean killing the enemy. There are ethical rules and standards of behavior that soldiers must strictly follow because these rules are essential for defeating the enemy, winning "hearts and minds" of potential allies, and maintain the morale of the troops. These tasks have become especially challenging in the face of the proliferation of guerilla warfare that has been adopted by weaker military forces in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. In fighting insurgencies, abiding by the ethical standards of the Army behavior may be even harder than in fighting conventional battles. The ethical rules may sometimes put the soldiers in dangerous positions. Disregarding the acceptable standards of behavior, however, may have even graver consequences, putting innocent non-combatants at risk and risking total demoralization of the Army unit participating in disorderly behavior. It is therefore essential that Army leaders maintain an ethical command climate during the war. The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual clearly states that Army leaders and soldiers alike must uphold ethical standards of behavior in war. It also states that "unethical behavior quickly destroys organizational morale and cohesion it undermines the trust and confidence essential to teamwork and mission accomplishment. Consequently doing the right thing forges strong character in individuals and expands to create a culture of trust
Open Document