Home » Catastrophic Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorist Attack on U.S. Homeland: A Case of Supreme Emergency Ethics? by Adrian M. Crowley
Catastrophic Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorist Attack on U.S. Homeland: A Case of Supreme Emergency Ethics? Adrian M. Crowley

Catastrophic Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorist Attack on U.S. Homeland: A Case of Supreme Emergency Ethics?

Adrian M. Crowley

Published September 17th 2012
ISBN : 9781249400844
Paperback
30 pages
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 About the Book 

The basic investigation of this paper is the dilemma of balancing military effectiveness versus moral righteousness. There are times when our military is called upon to perform tasks that when executed may violate our personal morals, customary lawMoreThe basic investigation of this paper is the dilemma of balancing military effectiveness versus moral righteousness. There are times when our military is called upon to perform tasks that when executed may violate our personal morals, customary law or even international law. This balance is particularly difficult in times of extreme crises where national decisions are clouded with more emotion than reason. Just war theory is a well traditioned doctrine used to guide moral reasoning in deciding to conduct war and in the actual conduct of war. There are times, however, where just war theory is overridden or even ignored in the name of perceived greater justice. One such doctrine that allows for an exception to just war theory and its restraints on war is the supreme emergency doctrine proposed by prominent moral theorist Michael Walzer. A clear and present danger to the U.S. today is the threat of a catastrophic terrorist attack with weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This type of threat may qualify as a supreme emergency, even more so immediately after a successful terrorist attack occurs. This worst case scenario poses the basic question: What are legitimate U.S. responses to this action? The historical example of the supreme emergency exemption seems to suggest that very few restraints of war cannot be overridden, therefore leaving every option still on the table to national leadership and military planners. This is not the case in todays environment as the just war theory principles of discrimination and proportionality should not be violated regardless of the atrocities committed against the U.S. To violate sacred just war theory principles such as noncombatant immunity would be to forfeit the very American ideals and rights that a campaign of terrorism response would aim to protect. This paper will research the supreme emergency exemption from just war theory as it applies to a terrorist WMD attack on the U.S. scenario. It will first review the strateg cont