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New Book Published on Ethics of Special Ops

2 January, 2024

In November, a new book on “The Ethics of Special Ops” was published by Cambridge University Press. The book is authored by three preeminent military ethics scholars affiliated with the PLuS Alliance partner universities: David Whetham, Professor of Military Ethics at King’s College London; Deane-Peter Baker, Associate Professor of Ethics at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra; and Roger Herbert, Research Fellow at Arizona State University’s Future Security Initiative and Former Professor of Ethics at the US Naval Academy.

The trio discusses the book’s contents and implications in this audio interview.

Expanding on their reasons for writing the book, Professor Whetham noted: “Even though special operations have become an increasingly prominent part of statecraft, there has been very little examination from a normative perspective as to what this might mean and whether the moral frameworks that apply to conventional military operations are appropriate for SoF [Special Operations Forces] as well. The volume is an exploration of the particular ethical challenges posed for SoF personnel by the character of the different missions most often associated with them. We examine this normally opaque environment and explore how and why these ethical friction points arise, and what type of responses are appropriate. The book draws on many case studies and real-world experience and is most definitely not simply an academic treatment of the topic. We hope that it will stimulate some discussion as well as provide a useful framework for both SoF personnel and the people who deploy them.”

Click here to purchase a copy of the book!

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