Counterterrorism
in The ethics of war
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The tension between strategic and moral imperatives accompanies all counterterrorism. This chapter explores that tension by examining some prominent features of the contemporary fight against terrorism which raise moral concern. In each case, there are two poles of the argument, the moral and the strategic. The strategic and the ethical problems of counterterrorism are compounded by the emergence of a new and more extreme form of terrorism. To apply the policing or law enforcement model of counterterrorism is to uphold the rule of law and the criminal nature of acts of terrorism. The ethical problems of counterterrorism are varied and substantial, reflecting the special challenge that terrorism poses. The tension between strategy and ethics is often to the fore as terrorists put the moral discipline of counterterrorists to the test. Ethical conduct is a matter of preserving the moral integrity and the moral capital of the society in question.

The ethics of war

Second edition

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