Ethics and the Global War on Terror: Can Conflicts with Non-State Actors Be Fought in a Just Way?
On March 8, 2017, the American Academy hosted a panel discussion at the House of the Academy in Cambridge, MA, accompanied by local discussions at The George Washington University, Stanford University, the University of Notre Dame, the United States Air Force Academy, and the United States Military Academy at West Point.
The twenty-first century began with the largest and most dramatic attack by a non-state actor, and since 9/11 the number of conflicts between states and non-state actors has increased. ISIL’s declaration of an “Islamic caliphate” in Syria and Iraq is just the latest chapter in a long, intense, and enduring fight between states and non-state actors.
In recent years, as the U.S. administration began to employ new military technology in asymmetric warfare, such as drones and autonomous weapons, new concerns about the morality of targeted killing and questions of proportionality and distinction became central to the debate on fighting ethical wars in the age of a global war on terror.