The Canadian Forces Chaplain School and Centre (CFChSC) at Canadian Forces Base Borden, where I work, started its annual Intermediate Ethics Course this week. 




The course is a career course for CAF military chaplains to take early in their careers to prepare them for one of their roles as ethical advisors to command teams and to military and civilian personnel generally.   Building on the theological and religiously informed ethical systems that chaplains learned in their formation as clergy, we train them in a variety of ethical systems, including the CAF’s Defence Ethics Program .  The training is practical, and uses concrete scenarios and case studies to prepare chaplains for the kind of real-world problems that they will face in the military context.

Chaplain candidates in fierce ethical debate.
One of the problems we face in our training in military ethics is that you need a foothold on both sides of this compound subject.    Most chaplains know something about ethical traditions through their theological formation, though they may know more about Christian ethics than they do about the classical philosophical traditions.    What they lack, sometimes, is a sufficient knowledge of the military environment to do apply the ethical traditions well.

To that end, I offered the class a short reading list of online resources to help them shore up their military knowledge, and to show them how some smart folks in the military community are tinking hard about ethics, particularly in light of new technologies and the changing battlespace.
This list may interest readers of this blog, either chaplain colleagues or folks who are generally interested in the subject.

1)

War On The Rocks

A privately published military blog – most articles authored
by US defence community people including some serving military.  
Lots on foreign policy, military news, leadership, strategy, and technology.

Articles like this one on killer robots make it worth the
read for military ethicists.

2)

The Strategy Bridge

This online journal describes itself as “an international
journal focused on strategy, national security, & military affairs”. 

Contributors are mostly US military, serving and retired,
with some allied military contributors.

A quick use of the search feature for articles on “ethics”yields some impressive results:


3)

War Is Boring

This military news blog is anything but boring.  
Its masthead says:  “From drones to AKs, high technology to low politics,
exploring how and why we fight above, on and below an angry world”.

 The articles on politics and culture offer food for thought
for ethicists.

4)

The Angry Staff Officer

A very funny and thoughtful blog by a serving US Army
officer.   Star Wars fans will find things to like.

 
5) 

Queen of Thin Air

By a professor of philosophy whose research and publication
interest is in military ethics. 

 
6)

The Military Writers Guild

Mostly US military – a group of active duty officers writing
about the military and the military ethos.  Many of the contributors here
are worth your knowing.  Many of them are also active on Twitter, which is
a whole other thing to follow.

 

Enjoy these links and chime in on any others that you would recommend.

MP+
 




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