Military Ethics

Military Ethics 

Military ethics is a broadly interdisciplinary study, incorporating concerns about the conduct of war, decisions on how and when to engage in military operations, and issues relating to the moral psychology and care of those who serve and of veterans of military service. Traditional just war theory also plays a key role in international relations (political and moral philosophy governing when the use of military force is justified for the resolution of international conflicts) and international law (including Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) and international humanitarian law).

Military ethics focuses on the core values and moral principles that collectively govern the men and women serving in the military forces of nations around the world, as members of what is sometimes termed the “military profession” or “the profession of arms.” The ethical foundations that define the profession of arms have developed over millennia from the shared values and experiences, unique role responsibilities, and reflections of members of the profession on their own practices – eventually coming to serve as the basis for various warrior codes and the LOAC.

Military Ethics at CWRU

Case Western Reserve University's College of Arts and Sciences and School of Law introduced the first master's program in military ethics in the United States in 2017. Learn more about program requirements, curriculum, and program students and graduates here


January 20, 2020 - Panel Discussion: "The US-Iran Crisis" hosted by Michael Scharf in a broadcast of "Talking Foreign Policy"

October 24, 2019: Military Medical Ethics: Battlefield Care for Compatriots, Host-Nation Nationals, and Captured Persons

Flyer provides a brief description of the military medical ethics event being held at 1:00pm on 10/14/2019 in Tink room 280F.

March 28, 2019: McCain Conference - The Future of Military Values - Lt. General Chris Miller and Dr. Shannon French  


April 1, 2019: War, International Law & Legitimacy

Whetham lecture on April 1, 2019 - War, Intl Law and Legitimacy


August 30, 2018: Ethics and Contemporary Conflict: Can the Just War Tradition still contribute anything useful to our understanding?

David Whetham flyer for talk at the Inamori Center


November 1, 2017 : If Aristotle Waged Cyber Warfare

If Aristotle Waged Cyber Warfare, While US cyber security experts have nervously awaited a "cyber Armageddon" our adversaries have top-toed up behind us, engaging in "state-sponsored hacktivism." How do we discern new norms of responsible behavior in this environment where adversaries now interfere now interfere in elections and copy and steal millions of private personnel records? As always, Aristotle offers some useful advice. Dr. George R. Lucas, Jr. is the CRWRU Visiting Distinguished Inamori Scholar.

October 27, 2010 -  International Peace and War Summit: "The Ethics of War in the 21st Century: Law, Policy, and Practice"