Watch the Carnegie Endowment Lecture video about the morality of professional soldiers serving in an unjust war. See link at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-2Z0FsViJE
Read Chapters 3 and 4 in The ethics of war and peace: An introduction to legal and moral issues: 978- 0-13-092383-7
Read Indian Removal Act of 1830 at https://www.nativehistoryassociation.org/removal.php
Summarizing Francisco de Vitoria’s ideas on the morality of soldiers who serve in wars that may be unjust, the text says, “One who does, with good intentions, what he or she sincerely but mistakenly believes to be right is guilty of wrongdoing without necessarily deserving punishment” (57).
Examine de Vitoria’s ideas in light of historical and current conflicts. Should this principle be applied to members of our own armed forces? Should it apply to the armed forces of other nations? Should all soldiers fighting on behalf of their nations or international organizations be treated with respect, so long as they are fighting for what they believe is a just cause?
For example, consider the following:
• Nazi soldiers and/or concentration camp guards • Al Qaeda soldiers
• ISIS soldiers
• U.S. soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan